Afghanistan

In June, KUOW Speakers Forum featured an event titled, “Exposing the Truth of U.S. Torture,” during which Brigadier General David R. Irvine lambasted U.S. torture practices abroad.

“If these kinds of practices were used by another nation on American serviceman, who were captives, who were prisoners of war, we as a nation would not tolerate it,” he said.

Wounded In Afghanistan, But Still Running

Nov 11, 2014
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

On Edward Lychik's 21st birthday, his fellow troops gave him a gift.

The Army combat engineer normally rode in the first truck in his convoy. Lychik's job was to ensure the road his battalion traveled in Afghanistan was bomb-free.

To celebrate Lychik's big day, his comrades let him ride in the rear — the convoy's last truck.

David Hyde talks to Gordon Lubold about the decision the Obama administration made to broker the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity and the implications it might have for other captured Americans.

Flickr Photo/isafmedia (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, about the upcoming elections in Afghanistan.

David Rohde is a former New York Times journalist who was held captive by the Taliban for seven months.

He says Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was just released after being held for five years by the Taliban, faces a long road ahead, that begins with debriefing by the U.S. military who want to know more about the Taliban.

Rohde speaks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Along with celebrations over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, there are growing questions. House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers of Michigan is asking whether the Obama administration broke the law in not consulting Congress over the negotiations and says this is a “dangerous” precedent: “If you negotiate here, you’ve sent a message to every Al Qaeda group in the world — by the way, some who are holding U.S. hostages today — that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn’t have before.”

After five years in captivity, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is finally free. The American POW is now receiving medical aid at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

Bill Radke talks with Northwest News Network reporter Jessica Robinson about a possible deal to free Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Army Sergeant Bergdahl has been held captive in Afghanistan by the Taliban since 2009.

There is mixed news this week on the fate of American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. The Associated Press is reporting efforts to bring home the Northwest soldier are in disarray.

Three American citizens were killed Thursday at a Christian organization's hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, when an Afghan security guard opened fire. Another American citizen was reportedly wounded.

One of those killed was an experienced pediatrician from Chicago who had been working at the hospital for seven years, according to media reports. The other two killed were a father and son whose names and ages had not yet been released.

"A veteran Associated Press photographer was killed and an AP reporter was wounded on Friday when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan," the wire service reports.

Flickr Photo/The National Guard (CC-BY-NC-ND)

President Barack Obama has warned his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai that the U.S. may pull all of its troops out of his country by the year's end.

Obama conveyed the message in a phone call to Karzai, who has refused to sign a security agreement.

The Idaho family of captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl is welcoming an effort to get their son home through a prisoner swap.

Lashkar Gah is the capital of the volatile province that alone grows half of Afghanistan's opium poppy. Cultivation here grew by 34 percent over last year.

On Fridays, hundreds of men gather at the bazaar along the Helmand River, the lifeblood of this arid province. Vendors sell everything from livestock to boxes of artisanal medicine.

There's no sign of poppy here. In fact, the farmers we talk to like 26-year-old Khairullah, who goes by one name, say they are actually too poor to grow it.

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