Craig Whitlock in Conversation with James LaPorta

  • September 1, 2021

The author of The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War speaks virtually on Thurs., Sept. 2nd, at 6 p.m. (EDT)!

Craig Whitlock in Conversation with James LaPorta

Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and U.S. officials lost sight of their original objectives.

Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public's understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit 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 stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the 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.

Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter for the Washington Post. He has covered the global war on terrorism for the Post since 2001 as a foreign correspondent, Pentagon reporter, and national security specialist. In 2019, his coverage of the war in Afghanistan won the George Polk Award for Military Reporting, the Scripps Howard Award for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Freedom of Information Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for international reporting. He has reported from more than 60 countries and is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

James LaPorta is an investigative reporter for the Associated Press covering national security, the intelligence community, and the U.S. military. He is a military advisor to the award-winning television show "This Is Us" on NBC.

Hosted by Politics and Prose in Washington, DC. Click here to register for the Live! event. (And click here to read the Independent's recent review of The Afghanistan Papers.)
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