13 Norfolk PLace
London, England W2 1 QJ

Media Talk: Afghanistan - Hearts and Minds in Helmand - £5
With Jason Burke, Christina Lamb, and Najibullah Razaq. Moderated by Jane Corbin.

Just what is the mission of the NATO deployment in Afghanistan? To fight the Taliban? Eradicate poppies? Provide a modicum of security?

In a country that has a long history of fighting off foreign intervention, the Taliban has re-emerged stronger than anyone predicted. Officials are now warning this will not be the relatively straightforward reconstruction job it was meant to be.

The death toll in the southern Afghanistan is mounting by the day and there is a growing worry that the British commitment of troops will prove open-ended. There’s also much confusion over roles. Nobody is quite sure who is meant to be doing what. The strain on the coalition is beginning to show.

Have NATO troops any hope of winning their hearts and minds campaign in Helmand?

Jason Burke is a leading expert on Islamic extremism, author of On the Road to Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict in the Islamic World and the current the Europe editor for the Observer.

Christina Lamb is the diplomatic correspondent for the Sunday Times and author of House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-torn Zimbabwe. She has recently returned from assignment in Afghanistan.

Najibullah Razaq is an Afghani freelance producer and fixer.

BBC Panorama investigative journalist Jane Corbin is a leading commentator on Al-Qaeda.

Official Website: http://www.frontlineclub.com

Added by Kavita on July 11, 2006

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