90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Reality Check on Afghanistan
A burqa clad woman walks past a poster of Afghan President Hamid Karzai pasted on the back of a vehicle in Herat, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. Afghans will head to the polls on Aug. 20 to elect the new president. (AP)

A burqa clad woman walks past a poster of Afghan President Hamid Karzai pasted on the back of a vehicle in Herat, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. Afghans will head to the polls on Aug. 20 to elect the new president. (AP)

The people of Afghanistan go to the polls tomorrow to elect a president — if they have the courage. At least one Taliban commander has threatened to cut off any finger he sees daubed with the blue ink of the voter.

British diplomat, soldier, and scholar Rory Stewart knows Afghanistan far better than most. He walked across it. Learned it up close. He’s an adviser to the U.S. envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke.

But Rory Stewart says we’ve got our vision wrong for Afghanistan, the war, and nation-building. We need a rethink.

This hour, on election eve, a reality check on Afghanistan.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us first from Kabul is Laura King, reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Joining us from London is Rory Stewart, professor and director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a British soldier and diplomat, has been an outside adviser to U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, and is executive chairman of the Afghanistan-based  Turquoise Mountain Foundation. He’s author of “The Places in Between,” about his 2002 trek across Afghanistan, and of “The Prince of the Marshes,” about his time as coalition deputy governor of two southern Iraqi provinces in 2003 and 2004.

Stewart’s recent essay, “The Irresistible Illusion” (in the July 9 issue of the London Review of Books), offers an extended critique of the Obama administration’s Afghanistan policy.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments