The Michael Kelly Award

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Craig Whitlock

The Washington Post


With his five-part series, “The Afghanistan Papers,” the investigative reporter Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post has produced what already feels like a definitive survey of the U.S. government’s deceptive and complicit role in America’s longest armed conflict. The trove of confidential documents that Whitlock analyzed and published took three years of bureaucratic and legal wrangling to obtain. The significance of this immense documentary record has been compared to that of the Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers. “As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama, and Trump all promised the public the same thing,” Whitlock writes. “They would avoid falling into the trap of ‘nation-building’ in Afghanistan. On that score, the presidents failed miserably.”


At War With the Truth

Stranded Without a Strategy

Built to Fail

Consumed by Corruption

Unguarded Nation


Craig Whitlock has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1998. He is assigned to the Investigative Desk, where he specializes in national security. From 2010 until 2016, he reported on the Pentagon beat for the National Desk. Before that, he served as The Post’s Berlin bureau chief for six years. While overseas, his primary assignment was investigative reporting into terrorism networks and counterterrorism policy in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. He has reported from more than 60 countries.

Before joining The Post, Whitlock, 52, worked for seven years as a reporter for the (Raleigh) News & Observer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University, where he served as editor of the campus daily, the Chronicle. A native of Ithaca, N.Y., he was raised in Kennett Square, Pa., the “Mushroom Capital of the World.” He is married to the author Jennifer Toth; they live in Silver Spring, Md., with their son, Kyle.

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