The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies is pleased to announce that Rajiv Chandrasekaran, award-winning author and senior correspondent for the Washington Post, will give a lecture titled “The Longest War: A Front-line View of the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan” at the University of Michigan on February 15 at 4:00 pm. Mr. Chandrasekaran will draw on three years of reporting on the conflict to explain why it has been so difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan, illustrating 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 will also argue that those improvements remain fragile and reversible because America’s war strategy remains out of sync with the realities of Afghanistan.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s reporting focuses on the war in Afghanistan, and he travels there frequently to interview Afghans and Americans involved in counterinsurgency operations. From April 2003 to October 2004, he was the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Baghdad, where he was responsible for covering the occupation of Iraq and supervising a team of correspondents. Chandrasekaran is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, an award-winning, best-selling book about the troubled American effort to reconstruct Iraq. The 2010 film The Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, was based on the book and will be shown on February 15 at 7:00 pm in the same location.

This lecture is part of the semester-long series “Afghanistan 2011: Connections, Communities, Crises.” Directed by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the series is cosponsored with other International Institute and U-M units, and features public lectures, a film series, an undergraduate course, and a professional development workshop for middle and high school teachers. For more information on the series, please visit

PLACE: 1636 International Institute, 1080 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor

SPONSOR: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) combines academics with practical applications. The center promotes scholarship to better understand the conditions and policies that foster the transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance, past and present. It also educates new generations of practitioners who can apply their learning and experience to help extend democratic freedoms. Initially focusing on transitions in Europe and Eurasia, it will subsequently expand its scope to other emerging democracies across the globe. For more information, visit

The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC); the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit