In this interview with my fellow veteran foreign correspondent Lisa Daftari, we discuss the debacle in Afghanistan and what aspects of the story will need to be covered in the future.
We are leaving many people behind, including our own citizens, to an uncertain fate. The power and influence structure of the region, and eventually the entire planet, is changing. The dangers to the Middle East, and to America, are pivoting in ways we are just beginning to learn.
We discuss what it was like to be in the middle of the debacle. How confused the situation was. The mistakes that were made. How closing the Bagram Air Base helped accelerate a Taliban victory. What it felt like to be on the phone with an Afghan security contact assuring everything was fine less than an hour before the city I was in fell to the Taliban. How the Afghan people reacted. What terror they’ve been feeling. Inklings of their desperation. And how hope has increasingly faded away.
We also talk about the larger picture of the Taliban and the on-the-ground impression of what their leadership aspires to domestically and internationally; and how that does not necessarily translate to how individual fighters behave. The reality is that are at least twenty terrorist organizations operating inside Afghanistan. Finally, we discuss why it’s important to keep covering what happens inside Afghanistan in the future. We look at how the domestic terror scenario might look after the US and NATO are gone.