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
Sep 2, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley addresses the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)

We talk to Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor and now Democratic candidate for the presidency. He’s been tough on Trump – and on his fellow Democrats.

Sep 2, 2015
Actor Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, in the Netflix Original Series "Narcos." (Daniel Daza/Netflix via AP)

A new Netflix series “Narcos” takes on the story of the rise of the “King of Cocaine” — Pablo Escobar. We’ll look at drug trafficking then and now.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 1, 2015
Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

Oliver Sacks, celebrated neurologist and best-selling author, has died at 82. We’ll listen back to our remarkable 2013 interview with Oliver Sacks on life and aging.

 
Sep 1, 2015
Denali is seen from a window on Air Force One during descent into Anchorage, Alaska on Aug. 31, 2015. (Pete Souza/White House)

The scramble for the Arctic. President Obama’s in Alaska. We’ll look at the stakes.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments