Craig Whitlock: Inside the War in Afghanistan
Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan had near-unanimous public support at the time. Their goals were straightforward: defeat Al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. But after the Taliban was ousted from power, U.S. officials lost sight of their original objectives as the military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock brings us The Afghanistan Papers, which, similarly to the Pentagon Papers after Vietnam, contains startling revelations from people who played a direct role in the war, certain to change the public’s understanding of the conflict. From leaders in the White House and Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines, many are candidly admitting that the U.S. government’s strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stronghold over their allies in the Afghan government. Whitlock’s account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the U.S. government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground—all upheld by three presidents unwilling to admit failure.
Join us for this timely event with Craig Whitlock as he reveals the alarming truth behind the longest war in American history, forcing us to reckon with what went so horribly wrong in Afghanistan.
Photo by The Washington Post.
5:30–6:30 p.m. program
(all times PDT)