Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior correspondent and associate editor, Washington Post. Sponsors: WCED, CREES.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a best-selling author and senior correspondent for The Washington Post, explains why it has been so difficult for the United States to achieve peace in Afghanistan. Drawing upon three years of reporting on the conflict, he will illustrate the progress and peril of President Obama’s decision to embrace a counterinsurgency strategy and double the number of U.S. troops there. He will describe the surprising gains that have been achieved because of the surge, but he also will reveal how those improvements remain fragile and reversible because America’s war strategy remains out of sync with the realities of Afghanistan.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post. His reporting focuses on the war in Afghanistan, and he travels there frequently to interview Afghans and Americans involved in counterinsurgency operations.
He has served as The Post's national editor and as an assistant managing editor. From April 2003 to October 2004, he was The Post's bureau chief in Baghdad, where he was responsible for covering the occupation of Iraq and supervising a team of Post correspondents. Before the U.S.-led war in Iraq, he was The Post's bureau chief in Cairo. Prior to that assignment, he was The Post’s Southeast Asia correspondent. In the months following the September 11 attacks, he was part of a team of Post reporters who covered the war in Afghanistan and events in Pakistan.
He the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a best-selling account of the troubled American effort to reconstruct Iraq. The book, which provides a firsthand view of life inside Baghdad's Green Zone, won the Overseas Press Club book award, the Ron Ridenhour Prize and Britain’s Samuel Johnson Prize. It was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2007 by the New York Times. It also was a finalist for the National Book Award and the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Chandrasekaran appears regularly on CNN, MSNBC and National Public Radio. He joined The Post in 1994 as a reporter on the Metropolitan staff. He subsequently served as the paper’s Washington-based national technology correspondent. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds a degree in political science from Stanford University, where he was editor in chief of The Stanford Daily. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.