America's war in Afghanistan is the longest war the U.S. has ever fought. Beginning a month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the initial mission was to remove the Taliban from power and destroy the al-Qaida terror network. Now, nearly 17 years later, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll points out that the war's goals have changed.
Roy Scranton and Jacob Siegel edited and contributed to the collection of short stories by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They tell Fresh Air about how soldiers cope with the fear of death, and why many soldiers feel conflicted about sharing their experience with a larger audience.
In a new documentary premiering on HBO, the journalist explores the life of his friend, the war photographer Tim Hetherington. The two collaborated on the 2010 documentary Restrepo, and Junger was profoundly changed after Hetherington was killed by shrapnel in Libya in 2011.
In a new book, the CNN anchor tells the story of Combat Outpost Keating. The ill-fated American military base was in a remote Afghan valley, and on Oct. 3 , 2009, it became the site of one of the deadliest attacks against U.S. troops in the history of the war in Afghanistan.
In his latest book, Pakistan on the Brink, journalist Ahmed Rashid writes that he fears Pakistan is on the verge of a "meltdown." Rashid explains some of the challenges facing the country, as well as the complicated relationship both Pakistan and Afghanistan have with the United States.
In Liza Johnson's drama, Return, Linda Cardellini plays a vet who returns from her time overseas with no way to make sense of where she was and what it meant. Critic David Edelstein says the film's lack of a traditional story arc makes it seem even more real.
Reporter Mark Mazzetti was one of several reporters from The New York Times who sifted through the 92,000 secret military documents leaked by WikiLeaks. He explains how the Times worked to verify the information in the documents -- and what the information means for the future of the war in Afghanistan.
David Edelstein reviews two new documentaries he loves: Restrepo is set in Afghanistan and co-directed by photographer Tim Hetherington and author Sebastian Junger, who wrote The Perfect Storm. Madeleine Sackler's The Lottery centers on high-testing charter schools in Harlem and the drawing that determines who gets in.
New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins has just returned from Afghanistan. He discusses what he's seen since the recent troop surge and explains the challenges the U.S. faces in trying to drive the Taliban out of the country.
Last week, Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured in a joint raid by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence forces. Journalist Ahmed Rashid explains how Baradar's recent capture will affect the Taliban's strategy in the coming months and what the capture means for the new US military offensive in Afghanistan.
President Obama has said he wouldn't send more troops to Afghanistan if he didn't think the security of the American people was at stake. Peter Bergen gives us an update on the threat: what's left of the Taliban and its connection to al-Qaida.
Pakistan has an estimated 80 to 100 nuclear warheads. How secure are they? Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh talks with host Terry Gross about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and what Pakistan and the U.S. are doing to keep it safe.
New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins has been covering clashes pitting Taliban militants against the Afghan and Pakistani governments; he joins Fresh Air to talk about recent developments in the region.
The New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins reports that the Taliban are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign in Afghanistan — a fact evidenced by a 40 percent increase in Afghan civilian deaths in 2008.
Franks, formerly the commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command, led the American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says the United States did not anticipate the insurgency that followed the invasion of Iraq, and he warns against underestimating Osama bin Laden. He's written a new memoir, American Soldier.
Los Angeles Times journalist Greg Miller and military interrogation supervisor Chris Mackey talk about The Interrogators. The book provides an inside look at methods used to extract information from prisoners in Afghanistan.