Inside Afghanistan

Sarah Chayes, former correspondent for National Public
Radio, discusses the current political and security
challenges in Afghanistan. As a reporter Chayes covered the last stand of the
Taliban in their home base of Kandahar, in Afghanistan’s southern borderland and
chronicled the difficulties of post-conflict reconstruction. After the fall of
the Taliban, Chayes became Field Director for Afghans for Civil Society (ACS), a
Kandahar-based NGO helping to rebuild
Afghanistan, founded by President Hamid Karzai’s brother. She forged
unparalleled relationships with the Karzai family, tribal leaders, U.S. military
and diplomatic brass, and leading figures in the Kandahar government. Her
position offered her unique insight into the grand political bargain in
Afghanistan: the power of warlords; the role of corruption; and the level of
violence. How strong a threat do the Taliban currently pose? What role is
Pakistan playing in maintaining effective border security? What role has the US
played in the complex political struggles across the country and what
opportunities and challenges remain?

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