How Afghanistan Went From Hippie Haven To War Battleground

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Jere Van Dyk. (CBS News)

In this week’s episode of KCRW’s “Scheer Intelligence,” Robert Scheer talks to Jere Van Dyk, who has reported on Afghanistan since the 1970s and has written extensively about the nation’s evolution from a hippie haven to a battleground for the war on terror.

Van Dyk’s most recent book is The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping, which details his search for answers after being kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008.

In his conversation with Scheer, Van Dyk talks about his years in a surprisingly progressive Afghanistan in the early 1970s and the United States’ funding of the mujahedeen in the ’70s and ’80s in hopes of turning the country into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam.

He also recounts his harrowing experience of being held captive by the Taliban and explains why he returned to Afghanistan years later despite great personal risk.

Listen to the full interview and to past editions of “Scheer Intelligence” at