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Author Peter Bergen on the missteps in America’s ‘longest war’

While homegrown violence was capturing the headlines this week, two of America’s top leaders were occupied with Islamic terror overseas. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Yemen, which has been used by al Qaeda as a safe haven, most recently last fall, when jihadists attempted to blow up American cargo planes with bombs hidden in computer printers.

Also this week, Vice President Joe Biden visited Afghan and Pakistani leaders to press for their continued support against terrorism. And maybe they’ll actually help find Osama Bin Laden.

Peter Bergen is one of the only Western journalists to have interviewed Bin Laden, and he has spent a lot of time reporting from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.  He has authored a new book, “The Longest War: Inside the Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda,” which looks at the missteps and miscalculations on both sides of the so-called “War on Terror.” Peter Bergen sat down with Need to Know’s Alison Stewart in the studio.


  • Miriam Gilbert


  • H A Mcgovern

    It is offensive that you use the words “Islamic terrorism”. That implies that Islam is causing the terrorism, and thus Islam must be fought and eliminated. This is patently false, aside from being reflective of a genocidal mindset by Western commentators, including PBS as it appears above. The proper terms are terrorism by Muslims. Islam and Muslim are not interchangeable, since Muslim refers to the people, who can be terrorists, but Islam refers to the religion alone. Please make this correction public.

  • Dave5056

    You gotta be nuts if you say that we have to prosecute a war like Viet Nam or Afghanistan. Calling the Muslims violent is a kind of profiling and hate speech. There is no righteous war! Only St Augustine has ever put forth an idea for a righteous war and it is to terrible to contemplate. I para phrase “No one may profit from the war and the enemy and all the profits and advantages derived from the war must also be destroyed. ” This guy thinks there is glory in war. Now the Afghans will hate us along with the Russians and ruin our empire too in the dieing ground of empires.