Foundation for Defense of Democracies Event
Nearly two years after the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban regime has reconstituted its Islamic Emirate and returned to draconian policies that are in grave violation of fundamental human rights. While President Biden and the Taliban alike claim al-Qaeda is not active in Afghanistan, recent United Nations monitoring shows al-Qaeda leaders are embedded in key Afghan ministries, with the group running training camps, safe houses, and media operations across multiple Afghan provinces. Terror groups such as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan enjoy free reign, while threats from the Islamic State persist.…READ MORE
My relationship with Kabul evolved over more than three decades when Afghanistan was my regular work commute from my home, first in Peshawar and then in Islamabad, nearly 500 kilometres to the east. As correspondent and then news director for the Associated Press in Pakistan and Afghanistan, I watched Kabul change, grow and accommodate the cultural, political and social pendulum swings from regime to regime as its people adapted to a succession of new realities, often imposed from outside, with little to no understanding of Afghans or Afghanistan.
The Kabul of 2021 following the Taliban’s return had a surreal feel about it. I had been in Kabul often when the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. And in August, 2021, as I sat in a government office once again occupied by Taliban officials — most of them wearing the traditional turban and all wearing the bushy beard — I was struck by the tragic symmetry of Afghanistan’s history, one closely linked to mine.…READ MORE
A discussion with Kathy Gannon and Brian Stelter
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m ET, Shorenstein Center fellows Kathy Gannon and Brian Stelter will hold a one-hour discussion on the role of media in democracy. Should journalists publicly support and try to uphold democracies in a time of rising authoritarianism? Or is the impact of truthful reporting on a system of governance outside of the purview of a journalist’s role? What do truth and objectivity mean in today’s media ecosystem?
Come watch a spirited debate between two journalism professionals on these questions and more!…WATCH NOW
A year ago Monday, the Taliban marched into Kabul, Afghanistan, taking over the city and country. The U.S. withdrew troops and began an evacuation that turned chaotic and deadly.
Associated Press correspondent Kathy Gannon has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for three decades and talks to Here & Now's Scott Tong about the state of Afghanistan a year on..…READ MORE
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side.
Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look at her but I couldn’t move. I looked down; all I could see was what looked like a stump where my left hand had been. I could barely whisper, “Please help us.”
Our driver raced us to a small local hospital in Khost, siren on. I tried to stay calm, thinking over and over: “Don’t be afraid. Don’t die afraid. Just breathe.”…READ MORE