Afghanistan: Why the U.S. is Still There & the Prospects for Peace

Feb 19, 2020

Soldiers boarding a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Sept. 2003. The soldiers were searching for Taliban fighters and illegal weapons caches.
Credit U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Klye Davis

Granite Staters reflect on Afghanistan, America's longest war. Just last month USAF Pilot, Ryan Phaneuf, a graduate of Alvirne High School in Hudson, was killed in a plain crash while serving in Afghanistan. We talk with those deeply involved in this conflict about why the U.S. is still there, nearly two decades after the war began. We'll also ask about recent news - including a contested election that has raised uncertainty about a possible U.S. peace deal with the Taliban.

(Air date: Feb. 20,2020)


Jason Lyall - Associate professor in the department of Government at Dartmouth and the James Wright Chair of Transnational Studies at Dartmouth, where he also directs the Political Violence Field Lab at the John Sloan Dickey Center of for International Understanding. In conducting his research on how development assistance and violence affect public attitudes and insurgent behavior in civil wars, Lyall travels frequently to Afghanistan. He also studies the effectiveness of airpower in “small wars.” His research is funded in part by USAID, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Institute of Peace. His book, Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War, was published earlier this month.

Craig Whitlock - Investigative reporter for The Washington Post, specializing in national security issues. He has covered the Pentagon, served as the Berlin bureau chief and reported from more than 60 countries.

Read his recent investigation into the Afghanistan war, "The Afghanistan Papers," a report based on more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people directly involved in the war. The Post acquired the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year battle. The interviews reveal that despite public declarations of progress, officials knew otherwise: that the war effort had gone astray.