Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks and the overthrow of the Taliban regime, the international community has made historic new commitments to the stability and future of Afghanistan. But enormous challenges remain in rebuilding this war-torn country, and the depth of commitment from outside powers is unclear.
Segment 1: Garrick Utley provides listeners with historical perspective on Afghanistan's traditional quest for independence from the encroachment of larger powers - Britain, Russia, Germany and the United States - involved in the "great game" of power and influence in South and Central Asia.
Segment 2: Steve Roberts moderates a videoconference discussion with Afghan high school students about their visit to the United States to participate in the Seeds of Peace conflict resolution program and their hopes for the future of Afghanistan.
Segment 3: Marvin Kalb examines the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The operation proved to be one of the most bipartisan and popular ever in the US Congress.
Segment 4: Margaret Warner and a group of experts look at the current state of reconstruction in Afghanistan and the prospects for peace and prosperity, or further instability.
Guests on the program include:
- Longtime CIA officers Milton Bearden and Charles Cogan
- Congressmen Charlie Wilson and Stephen Solarz
- Reagan administration official Fred Ikle
- Barnett Rubin of New York University
- S. Frederick Starr of Johns Hopkins University
- Paul O'Brien of the relief group CARE International