Jonathan Landay


Jonathan S. Landay, national security and intelligence correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, discusses how Afghan peace talks primarily exist as fictional inventions of the Pentagon, the US divide-and-conquer strategy employed against insurgent groups that is supposed to marginalize hardliners, India’s concern that another Mumbai attack would create overwhelming political pressure for military action against Pakistan, how a US withdrawal would turn Afghanistan into “Somalia on steroids” and destabilize much of Central Asia, how the continued US presence and Afghan government corruption fuel the insurgency and make occupation unsustainable, an analysis of ethnic and political factions that shows the Taliban is not a natural political successor and the odd spectacle of Russian and US agents jointly participating in a drug raid on Afghan heroin producers.

MP3 here. (31:59)

Jonathan S. Landay, national security and intelligence correspondent, has written about foreign affairs and U.S. defense, intelligence and foreign policies for 15 years. From 1985-94, he covered South Asia and the Balkans for United Press International and then the Christian Science Monitor. He moved to Washington in December 1994 to cover defense and foreign affairs for the Christian Science Monitor and joined Knight Ridder in October 1999.

He speaks frequently on national security matters, particularly the Balkans. In 2005, he was part of a team that won a National Headliners Award for “How the Bush Administration Went to War in Iraq.” He also won a 2005 Award of Distinction from the Medill School of Journalism for “Iraqi exiles fed exaggerated tips to news media.”

4 thoughts on “Jonathan Landay”

  1. One element that should be mentioned about the US military's disinfo/psyops campaign to exaggerating the significance of peace talks is the effects it has on the homefront and allies.

    Here in Canada I know more than one person who was seriously demoralized by the thought that the Afghan war was all for nothing when the 'Taliban peace talks' meme hit the media. What was the point of all the deaths if the Taliban were being let back into power? Whether you agree with their point of view or not, it was an understandable reaction.

    The bottom line is the US military's momentary psyops goals in Central Asia are more important than citizens they claim to serve. Nothing new I guess.

    Excellent interview! Good questions (as always), some real debate, and enough time to get to the meatier issues.


    of it (the contacts) is an effort to sow distrust within the insurgency, to make insurgents suspicious with each other and to send them on witch hunts looking for traitors who want to negotiate with the enemy," said the U.S. official. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

  2. Scott, please have Mr. Landay on as often as possible! I don't agree with all of his conclusions but boy did he sure know his shit! And he sounds reasonable and fair. MORE LANDAY!!!

  3. This guy, despite having a wealth of facts and figures, really sounds like he's just drunk some D.C. Kool-Aid when he talks about Afghanistan.

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