Steve Coll, The Fight for the Future of Afghanistan

Published on03 APR 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll describes the United States’ continuing efforts to win the fight in Afghanistan as well as how a divided America has created a new era of journalism around the country.

Coll on explaining the state of the war in Afghanistan: “There was a lot of good will that the international community brought to the project of trying to reconstruct Afghanistan after 2001 and a lot of people who invested years of their lives and that I think came home, if they came home in one piece, they came home wondering was it worth it? Why have we not been able to achieve all of the goals that we have set out to achieve? Why did the Taliban come back? Why are we in this grinding stalemate?... I wanted to work inside that triangle, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan to give Americans, but also Afghans and Pakistanis a reliable account of why we're where we are 17 years in.”

Coll on a new era of journalism: “The events of the last two years, the kind of attacks on the press, the populism, the rhetorical kind of over-the-top tonal attacks, it’s actually been very helpful to us with our students... We’re interested in other people’s stories. We’re interested in how the world works, how power is exercised, how decisions are made.”

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