90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Corruption in Afghanistan

It’s being called “Corruptistan.” Afghanistan is choking under graft and embezzlement. Can this war be won, with a government so corrupt?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens during a Peace Jirga in Kabul, June 4, 2010. (AP)

The United States has invested billions in Afghanistan and the war effort there. And corruption has siphoned billions from that effort. “Corruptistan,” the country’s being called, and the problem is now so pervasive – goes so high and wide – that it threatens the war effort itself. 

Serious analysts ask if corruption in Afghanistan is more dangerous than the Taliban — and if U.S. taxpayer dollars are actually funding the Taliban. 

Knock out corruption and you knock out the government.  Then, who are we fighting for?  Leave it, and what are we fighting for? 

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Matthew Rosenberg, reporter for the Wall Street Journal. He has been covering Afghanistan.

Greg Miller, reporter for the Washington Post. Read his latest article on corruption in Afghanistan, “U.S. Anti-Graft Effort Appears to Miscarry.”

Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He has advised the U.S. military recently on its policy in Afghanistan. His new report on the corruption problem in Afghanistan is: “How America Corrupted Afghanistan: Time to Look in the Mirror.”

More links:

The On Point staff wanted to re-post Tom Ashbrook’s reflection on his travels in Afghanistan, published in the Washington Post just after the 9/11 attacks — and just as our show first began broadcasting on public radio. The article’s themes still resonate.

To read some in-depth reporting on the issue of corruption in Afghanistan, read these two pieces in The Nation by reporter Aram Roston: “How the U.S. Funds the Taliban” and “Congressional Investigation Confirms: U.S. Funds Afghan Warlords.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 1, 2014
Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas under heavy rain in a main street near the government headquarters in Hong Kong late Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them on Tuesday and threatened wider actions if he did not, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub. (AP)

China, democracy and Hong Kong. They’re in the streets in Hong Kong with their “Umbrella Revolution.” What now?

Oct 1, 2014
Actress Eva Longoria, center, Henry R. Munoz III, co-founder of the Latino Victory Project, left, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, are seated at an event launching The Latino Victory Project, a Latino political action committee, at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP)

Latino America. It is very large and growing very fast. How will it move the country?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

 
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Peter Thiel Wants Us All To Go From ‘Zero To One’
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel on innovation, technological failure and humanity’s uncertain future.

More »
Comment
 
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment