90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Marjah and the Afghanistan Surge

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Burton Shields, commander of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry of Task Force Stryker, sits during a meeting, or shura, with village leaders in the Badula Qulp area, West of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010. (AP)

Post your comments below

It’s Day 5 of the biggest allied offensive in Afghanistan since 2001 — some 15,000 U.S., NATO, and Afghan troops working to secure Marjah, a key opium-smuggling base in the Taliban’s heartland.

It’s being called the first big test of President Obama’s troop surge and General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy. A strategy of holding fire to protect civilians, rolling in a local government to keep the Taliban out, building a nation.

And with the recent capture in Pakistan of the Taliban’s top military commander, there’s hope, justified or not, of turning the tide.

This hour, On Point: We’re looking at the Afghan surge as it plays out on the ground.

Guests:

Joining us from Kabul, Afghanistan, is Rod Nordland, foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He’s reported on civilian casualities in the Marjah offensive and on the UN’s refusal to participate in the military’s reconstruction efforts there.

From Monterey, Calif., we’re joined by Kalev Sepp, professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and retired Army lieutenant colonel and special forces officer.  From 2007 to January 2009, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Capabilities, helping to oversee global counterterrorism policy.

From Washington we’re joined by Peter Bergen, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, where he co-directs the Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative.  He’s editor of Foreign Policy magazine’s Af-Pak Channel blog and author of “The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments
 
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments