December 14, 2018

Event Coverage Highlight

Afghanistan: America’s Longest War

 

The OPC and Ford Motor Co. are co-sponsoring a panel to discuss the challenges of establishing stability and democracy in Afghanistan, amid intervention from Pakistan and India, and more recently from Iran and Russia.

The Pentagon is once again pouring American troops into Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from consolidating power. But the Americans have yet to fathom the murky and ever-shifting alliances among the Taliban, the Haqqani network, Al Qaeda and other non-state players. What is the way forward?

All are welcome. But if you cover or have covered Afghanistan, please consider this event an informal reunion. You can use the blue and gray “share” buttons at the bottom of this page to forward this invitation to your colleagues and friends.


Car and truck traffic backs up May 16, 2013 at the Pul-e Sokhta bridge in western Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

Unidentified Afghan mujahideen fighters, with two carrying U.S. made Stinger missiles, move toward the frontline during the battle for Jalalabad, Afghanistan in March 08, 1989. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

May 1988: An Afghan soldier hands a flag in solidarity to a departing Soviet soldier in Kabul on the first day of the army's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Over one million Afghans had been killed by the Soviet Army with six million  refugees fleeing the country during their ten year occupation. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

March 1989: Afghan mujahideen move toward the frontline during the battle for Jalalabad. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

September 1996: Taliban soldiers fire a rocket at retreating forces of the Northern Alliance army controlled by Ahmed Shah Massoud north of Kabul. Kabul fell to the Taliban on September 27, 1996. The Kabul government's military defense collapsed with little resistance as the Taliban soldiers approached the capital. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

Charikar, Afghanistan, December 2001: Pakistani Taliban captured outside of Kabul while fighting Northern Alliance troops. All were from Punjab province, trained at a religious center and recruited by Jaish-i-Mohammad, a militant Islamic group associated with Osama bin Laden. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

October 1996: A Taliban mullah speaks to a crowd gathered in central Kabul after Taliban forces took control from the Rabbani government. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

August 2006: Three wounded U.S. Army soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division await evacuation by helicopter from Kamdesh, Nuristan province. They were ambushed and suffered wounds to their eyes and foreheads. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

April 2009: A U.S. soldier shakes the hand of an Afghan youth outside the town of Jalrez in Wardak province. The hilltop overlooking apple orchards had fighting trenches, left of the soldier, built by Afghan mujahideen 30 years ago in their fight against Soviet forces. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

May 2013: A contingent of American troops conclude their tour in Afghanistan and prepare to fly home from Bagram Air Base. Others arrive, wearing their helmets. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images.

Panelists:

Kathy Gannon is senior correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan for The Associated Press and is based in Islamabad, Pakistan. She has covered the region since 1987 and was the only western journalist in Taliban- ruled Afghanistan during the U.S.-led invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks. She was attacked and wounded while covering an election in Afghanistan in 2014.

David Rohde is  the online news director for The New Yorker, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize  and a former reporter at Reuters and The New York Times. He was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008, escaping after 7 months. He is the author, with Kristen Mulvihill, of “A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides.”

Jere Van Dyk covered the Afghan- Soviet  war for The New York Times  in the early 1980s, living with what is today called the Haqqani network. In 2008 he was kidnapped and held for ransom for 45 days. His book, ”Captive,” describes  that ordeal. His new book, THE TRADE: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping, is being released the day of the event and will be available for purchase.

Moderator: Willam J. Holstein covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979 and was one of the American journalists placed under house arrest and deported for “interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.” He has authored seven books and is president of the OPC Foundation.