Afghanistan Topics

Democracy Now! has regularly covered the Afghanistan War since it was launched Oct. 7, 2001. Over the years, we have interviewed dozens of independent journalists, civilians living in the conflict zones, scholars, veterans, and antiwar activists.

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  • The coming weeks hold critical significance for the US occupation of Afghanistan. The Senate is expected to vote on the Obama administration’s $128 billion request to fund war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq for the coming fiscal year. Next week, the Obama administration will unveil a report on whether US benchmarks for success in Afghanistan are being achieved. It’s widely believed President Obama will receive a military request...
    Sep 15, 2009 | Story
  • The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has submitted a long-awaited review of the Afghan war. The New York Times reports although McChrystal’s assessment doesn’t call for sending more US troops, it effectively lays the groundwork for such a request in the coming weeks. The assessment comes on the heels of the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the US invasion nearly eight years ago. We...
    Sep 01, 2009 | Story
  • The Pentagon is canceling its contract with the private public relations firm The Rendon Group to produce background profiles of journalists seeking to cover the war. One journalist profiled was Nir Rosen, who got a hold of his profile. The Rendon Group reported to the Pentagon that Rosen’s reporting in Afghanistan was “highly unfavorable to international efforts." The Rendon Group profile also mentioned Rosen’s appearance on Democracy...
    Sep 01, 2009 | Story
  • The US Army in Afghanistan has admitted it pays a private company to produce background profiles on journalists covering the war. The Pentagon has been on the defensive ever since the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes revealed this week that journalists were being screened by the Washington-based public relations firm, the Rendon Group, under a $1.5 million contract with the military. Documents obtained by the paper reveal journalists were evaluated...
    Aug 28, 2009 | Story
  • In Afghanistan, election authorities are preparing to publish the first partial results from last week’s presidential election, but the small sample of ten percent may do little to resolve a dispute over the outcome. The August 20th election was marred by fraud, intimidation, violence and low turnout in many areas. The Electoral Complaints Commission says it is looking into at least 250 allegations of misconduct. We go to Kabul to speak...
    Aug 25, 2009 | Story
  • US military commanders have reportedly told the US special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, that they need more troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Last week, President Obama defended the expansion of the war, calling it a "war of necessity." We speak with Harvard professor Stephen Walt, who argues that the President’s "safe haven" argument for expanding the US military presence in Afghanistan should be...
    Aug 25, 2009 | Story
  • Millions of Afghans are voting in presidential and provincial elections today amid tight security and threats of violence from the Taliban. There are also widespread concerns about corruption, with reports of voting cards being openly sold and of candidates offering large bribes. We speak to independent journalist Rick Rowley in northern Afghanistan and get analysis from radio host and author Sonali Kolhatkar. [includes rush transcript]
    Aug 20, 2009 | Story
  • One of Afghanistan’s most feared warlords has returned to Afghanistan just days before its presidential election. General Abdul Rashid Dostum is one of several warlords who have allied with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is seeking a new term. Karzai is hoping Dostum’s return will help attract ethnic Uzbek voters. Dostum’s return to prominence in Afghanistan comes despite his role overseeing a 2001 massacre at Dasht-e-Leili...
    Aug 18, 2009 | Story
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    While President Obama defended his escalation of the war in Afghanistan on Monday, in Britain, America’s closest ally, antiwar sentiment is growing. This week, the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 surpassed 200. Yesterday in central London, protesters read the names of the 200 British soldiers, as well as the names 200 Afghan citizens killed in the war. The demonstration in Whitehall was led by former British MP...
    Aug 18, 2009 | Story
  • A new documentary premiering tonight on HBO provides a harrowing look at today’s Afghanistan, where violence and corruption continue to ravage the country. It’s called Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. It tells the story of Ajmal, a young Afghan journalist, translator and coordinator working for American journalist Christian Parenti. In 2007, Ajmal was kidnapped by Taliban forces, along with Italian reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo...
    Aug 17, 2009 | Story