September 9th, 2009
02:34 PM ET

Afghan highway symbol of mission in crisis

Program Note: Tune in tonight for more from Michael Ware in Afghanistan. Anderson Cooper is reporting live from the battle zone and he is joined by CNN Security Analyst Peter Bergen, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Michael Ware. Tonight 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/08/afghanistan.highway/art.taliban.highway.cnn.jpg caption="Trucker Mohammed Qasim takes his fuel tanker down Afghanistan's Highway 1 once a week."]

Michael Ware
CNN Correspondent

Paid for with U.S. dollars, Afghanistan's Highway 1 was supposed to symbolize a path toward a bright future when it was repaved five years ago.

The $300 million project smoothed over the highway's rough potholes and cut in half the 12-hour drive time from the capital, Kabul, to the country's political center, Kandahar.

But today, roadside bombs have re-scarred the road, and Taliban militants routinely stage brazen attacks on its travelers.

The journey between the two cities now takes at least nine hours, and people risk their lives when they travel on the road.

"It's been blown up by landmines, and there is no security on it," truck driver Mohammed Qasim said.

People have been pulled off buses along Highway 1 and executed by the Taliban. The militants man at least three checkpoints along the 300-mile road, which runs through Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Michael Ware
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I would like to see us out of Afghanistan too – but IF we can leave with a stabilized Afghanistan whose people can travel securely, protect themselves, go to work, go shopping, eat a meal out, play with their children – all safely – then that would be worth it to stay. I would like to see a list of objectives and have the military hold a briefing every 2 months to review that list and tell us which ones are being work on and how far they are towards completion. (% done). Keep telling us how it really is Michael – we all appreciate the work you are doing to keep us informed.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  2. aj

    Michael you are my hero. Your open mind, levels of viewpoints and accepting manner always awesome...I love you can get me to think. I only hope more people let you talk and they close their mouths a bit and listen. Truley awesome job, be safe out there!

    September 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  3. dorothy

    Great reporting Michael, although you do at times scare me out there!

    I'm afraid I'm with those who think we really need to get out of there. I just can't see any sense in this war – it feels like another Vietnam. So many lives wasted – for what – as soon as we leave the Taliban come back in.

    Most all of these countries don't want us there. Why must we always be involved in the middle. I'm watching and trying to make sense of all of this from you and AC and Peter, etc.

    I'm one of the ones that is still waiting for them to find weapons of mass destruction of long ago in Iraq!

    September 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  4. Kathy Sinnott

    My son is part of the Marines 1/5 C Co. 3rd PLT. He has been a point man and guarding the corn fields in search of the Taliban, I guess they like to hide the IED's there. It was interesting for me to see those things on last nights broadcast. Thank you. Wish you'd talk to more of the men that are right in it. Sempre Fi

    September 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  5. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Michael
    Hardworking Michael.Pleace stay safe,The world needs journalist like you,dont risk your life.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Sara in ND

    Michael Ware is simply the best journalist working the wars. Thank you.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  7. believer

    you said it right Teresa! why doesn't the US learn from the Russians? There is no WINNING in Afghanastan! U.S. has this cowboy idea to win wars to the end, no matter who is killed. Just as long as it's won! Guess what? It won't be won. God is on their side!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  8. MikeV

    Michael I have watched you in Iraq and now Afganistan and you have always given me the truth. Please don't quit. I marched thru the Vietnam war and wrote letters to soliders. I don't want this to become another vietnam.

    WHY are we there? What is the goal? When will we know we have reached it?

    I wish you could talk directly with the President, he needs your voice.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  9. Teresa, Oh

    The US paid to pave a road in another country? I'm sure it was out of the kindness of our pockets and not because the US needed a faster road for OUR purposes over there right? If I was a militant, one who hates the US, I would target that road myself.

    So what do we do now? Put our men on this highway to patrol it and lose their lives? I dont think so.

    what a mess and the US is always right in the heart of it all. AGAIN.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  10. Donna Wood

    Great stuff Mr. Ware. Awfully dangerous interview! Well done though! And now on a lighter note. I loved your outfit by the way! The whole tunic, pajama pant, scarf thing! Looks comfy! Does it make it easier to run from the Taliban? I'm sorry, I had to say that. No nasty intended! Your doing a great job! Girls don't tease you unless they like you, right? Keep up the great work. We are listening and please be safe.

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  11. Cindy

    GREAT reports so far this week. Yours have been the best by far!! But please dude...be careful!! Can't wait to see more from you.


    September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am |