Journalist Michael Hastings, winner of the George Polk Award for his article “The Runaway General” in Rolling Stone magazine, discusses how the Afghan War is killing US soldiers’ morale, since they believe (rightly) that it’s a useless effort; the “surge” that failed to produce any measurable progress, politically or militarily; Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s “gaffe” on leaving 70 thousand troops in Afghanistan through 2014; why official announcements on troop numbers are less important than the White House’s resolve on keeping the military’s independent policy-making in check; the fine line between the US fighting a war inside Pakistan (with the government’s begrudging acceptance) and fighting a war against Pakistan; and why the price of a continued US presence in Iraq may be renewed violence from Moqtada al Sadr’s forces.
MP3 here. (28:42)
Michael Hastings is the author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story. In 2008, he covered the U.S. presidential elections for Newsweek, and before that he was the magazine’s Baghdad correspondent. His articles have appeared in GQ, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, the LA Times, and other publications. His blog The Hastings Report focuses on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other foreign policy topics.