The Alyona Show: Is This War Lost?

Is America addicted to war? Is the failing and drawn-out war in Afghanistan a sign that we will be in perpetual war with Islamic extremism? And what is US President Barack Obama's role in its increasing expansion? Alyona talks to Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com to discuss it all. 

There has been a lot of talk lately about how Afghanistan has been the longest American war, but one aspect of the war seems to get lost in the shuffle: The cost. America is facing a recession and money is something that is on everyone's minds, except when it comes to Afghanistan. With $1million per soldier per year being spent, it is safe to say that the costs of this war are unprecedented. So can the US afford to keep it going? Alyona talks to Derrick Crowe, political director at Brave New Foundation. 

Then, Kandahar is the spiritual and cultural stronghold for the Taliban. It's where the offensive that is supposed to make or break this war will take place. But what's it like there right now? The Alyona Show gets a report from a journalist on the ground in the middle of the war. Jerome Starkey is a correspondent for The Times of London. Originally, the offensive in Kandahar was supposed to start this month, now it's been pushed back until at least September because the military claims they need to get the population on their side. Alyona asks Jerome if he could see that happening anytime soon.

And, things have been a little rocky at the Congressional hearings on Afghanistan. You probably heard about Central Command hea General David Petraeus passing out. But it seems like congress may have bigger problems, as they point fingers at what they call trash journalism and brush over the facts. RT Correspondent Jihan Hafiz has the story.

Call it trash journalism or not, you can't deny that the media plays a huge role in the public's perception of war, since the public is not on the front lines themselves. But to be honest...most of the media hasn't been on the front lines lately, either. So should people be eating up everything they say? The blogosphere is clearly telling us, no. But the real question is: How much of an impact does media, new or old play on the perception of this war? Alyona discusses this with Christopher Chambers, Georgetown University professor of journalism and the author of the blog Nat Turner's Revenge.

Then, a crew from The Alyona Show goes out onto the streets of Washington to ask if Americans actually know how long US troops have been in Afghanistan. Watch what happens. The correct answer: 8 years and nearly 9 months. The war began on October 7, 2001... almost a month after the 9/11 attacks.  

Finally, there are more contractors in Afghanistan than there are troops, and yet their role there is often underestimated and underreported. Contractors are often in the thick of things, offering security for the military personnel, but not burdened by the constraints of Washington, DC talking points. Alyona talks to Nathan Park, a contractor for Good Knight Security Services and the author of the blog Knights of Afghanistan to get his on the ground perspective from Kabul. Alyona asks him what he sees the role of contractors in Afghanistan to be, and if he feels like he is in a war or if he's simply doing a job while a war is going on around him.