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 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
  • Benn-new1
    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
  • Andrew Exum is a former Army captain who has been openly critical of the drone attacks inside Pakistan. Exum served on active duty in the US Army from 2000 until 2004, including two years leading a platoon of Army Rangers inside Iraq and Afghanistan. He recently returned from two months in Afghanistan, where he served as part of the advisory team of the commander of US troops there, General Stanley McChrystal. [includes rush transcript]
    Aug 11, 2009 | Story
  • US Army Specialist Victor Agosto faces up to one month in jail for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. After returning from thirteen months in Iraq, Agosto became a victim of the stop-loss program that has extended the tours of more than 140,000 troops beyond their contracts since 9/11. Just hours before his court-martial, Agosto speaks out from his military base at Fort Hood, Texas. [includes rush transcript]
    Aug 05, 2009 | Story