Tuesday, June 29th, Big Think will interview Jere Van Dyk, the author and American journalist who was captured and held by the Taliban for 45 days in 2008, and who serves as a consultant for CBS News on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and al-Qaeda. In light of President Obama's recent dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, we are hoping Van Dyk, who has tirelessly covered Afghanistan since the Soviets invaded in 1979, will provide some guidance on America's involvement in that part of the world.
As a New York Times correspondent, Van Dyk was embedded with the mujihadeen during their victorious fight against the Soviets, recapping the experience in a series of Pulitzer Prize nominated articles. In 2008, over 25 years later, Van Dyk returned to Afghanistan to report on the U.S.-led war, only to be captured hours into his journey along the ungoverned border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Van Dyk was held captive by the Taliban in a primitive mud cell for 45 days, given little more than food, a pen and paper. After his freedom was negotiated with the help of the CIA, FBI, the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Military and CBS News, Van Dyk returned home to detail the harrowing experience in his book "Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban."
What would you like to ask Jere Van Dyk about the current state of affairs in Afghanistan? Are there any unique perspectives that a civilian who has personally engaged with the Taliban might elucidate about the United States' ongoing commitment to root out al-Qaeda? What would you like to know about someone who has been held captive by the Taliban?