Afghanistan has long been touted as the “graveyard of empires.” The British and the Soviets certainly discovered that lesson to their great regret. Perhaps future historians will judge the failure of the United States to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan over a two-decade period as a critical factor in the loss of American hegemony as… Continue reading Afghanistan: Out of the Graveyard and into the Pyre?
The targeted assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last weekend wasn’t just another drone strike. First of all, it was conducted by the U.S. military, not the CIA, which has orchestrated nearly all drone strikes in Pakistan. Second, it didn’t take place in Afghanistan or in the so-called lawless tribal region of Pakistan… Continue reading Drones and Blowback
In 1954, a single book destroyed the popular notion that children are innocent souls. In that book, a plane of such innocent souls crashes on a deserted island. There, in a paradise of coral and coconuts and wild pigs, the survivors soon revert to a state of nature. But such a state, author William Golding… Continue reading The Children’s Crusade
After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries. What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule — quickly turned into one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. By the end of 1948, after an exodus of Muslims from India… Continue reading The Middle East’s New Nakba
Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 in part because of his pledge to end the war in Iraq and shift the Pentagon’s attention to Afghanistan. He has won a second term in part by promising to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan – as quickly and as securely as possible. There have been no “mission… Continue reading Afghanistan: Avoiding Default