The news of former ISAF commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s and his staff’s comments about senior administration officials and the President, followed by McChrystal’s sacking this morning, have sucked up much of the news about Afghanistan in the last few days.
But while the war effort faces difficulty and certain questioning as Gen. David Petraeus takes over (temporarily), one success in Afghanistan is the export of soft power, in the form of radio. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, originally founded in 1949 to send America’s message to the communist world, now runs the most popular radio station in the country, Radio Azadi. RFE/RL also started an Pashto-language station targeting the Afghan-Pakistan border region, Radio Mashaal, in January of this year.
TODAY from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, RFE/RL’s President Jeffrey Gedmin, who has just returned from a reporting trip to Pakistan and travels frequently to the region, will be at the New America Foundation for a conversation with TWN publisher Steve Clemons about his time in South Asia and soft power on the Durand Line. The event will livestream here at TWN, RSVP here if you are in Washington and would like to attend.
— Andrew Lebovich