Foreign Policy Blogs

Afghanistan

International Crisis Group Lays out Problems and Recommends Solutions for Afghanistan's Judiciary

The International Crisis Group (ICG) released a new paper on Afghanistan’s judiciary sytem, its faults, failures and the way back to institutional legitimacy and stability.  Please find the executive summary here.  However, I highly recommend that you read the paper that you’ll find here, in PDF ...

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The Story of Reconciliation in Afghanistan: Describing the Three-Headed Beast

The news of reconciliation in Afghanistan is nothing less than three-headed Cerberus, internally conflicted and unruly.  One head: the Karzai story, pushed about in the major media outlets, that NATO is helping broker preliminary, testy, exchanges that might well precede a contested power-sharing agreement. The second, reported by the BBC ...

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Asia Foundation Survey: How Are You Feeling Afghanistan?

Asia Foundation Survey: How Are You Feeling Afghanistan?

The Asia Foundation recently released a massive report on the views of the Afghan people. The report titled ‘Afghanistan in 2010: A Survey of the Afghan People‘ is over 200 pages and features Afghan replies to numerous questions about the state of their country and lives. Below is a ...

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Burn Victims in Herat: Pictures of Poverty, Self-Immolation and Mourning

The New York Times’ journalism  on Afghanistan is nothing short of a heroic record.  Consider Dexter Filkin’s investigative journalism and then, think no more.  But today, the series of photographs and story it published on the endemic incidence of self-immolation among women in Afghanistan is something beyond note, ...

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The Missing Argument for Peace in Afghanistan: Decoupling the Taliban and Al Qaeda

I’d written earlier with some thoughts on how to cut apart the Taliban in Afghanistan from their Al Qaeda counterparts. Broadly, I’d argued that one needed to separate out the incentives and motivations (en bloc) of the Taliban from their foreign, multi-national, globalist counterparts.  Separated out– as hanafis (nationalist jihadis) ...

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The 2010 Midterm Election: Afghanistan in the Background

The 2010 Midterm Election: Afghanistan in the Background

It was obvious a year ago that the 2010 midterms were going to be about domestic issues, specifically the economy, jobs, and health care. But it was hard to predict just how little foreign policy, the Afghanistan war included, would play in this political season. The war ...

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Why Target and Talk Might Not Work: Insights from the Theory of Collective Action in Nationalist Politics

My colleagues Pat Frost and Rob Grace ( over at the Law and Security Strategy blog) and I have written extensively on why the situation in Afghanistan looks grim.  The war there is a long haul; the Karzai government is corrupt,

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Negotiations: On, Off, Never Happened, Doomed, Only Hope

The story of US/Karzai government negotiations with members of the Taliban have already taken so many twists (mostly rhetorical rather than substantive) that one should not feel ashamed to be confused as to what exactly is going on between the two warring parties. One second the ...

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Karzai Taking Millions of Dollars a Year From Iran

Well now.  This isn’t good. The Karzai Administration is taking in more than $1 million a year  off the books from Iran’s government to pay for presidential expenses.  The Chief of Staff is taking in the cash, no doubt helping Mr. Karzai pay for his lavishly, handsomely decorated, ...

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'Time. It Will Take Some Time'

My hometown paper, the San Diego Union Tribune, has been running a series of reports about the US war effort in Afghanistan that have provided a real service to our community. The weekly reports may not be groundbreaking, but they have provided its readers with a more in depth view ...

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Will Target and Talk Work? On the Possibility of Bringing Back Mid-Level Talib to the Negotiating Table

NATO’s Afghanistan force ISAF has been strategically bombing rushedly discovered Taliban and Al Qaeda locations for some time now.  This scaled up move is designed to get the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table.  No doubt, apart from major disruptive turns away from the chosen path, the strategy is ...

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War in Afghanistan Polls Lower Than Any Other Major Issue

The War in Afghanistan has fallen off the American’s people’s radar.  It raises the question: was it ever on the people’s radar–that is after the hooooohaaahhh of ramped up, spoon fed nationalism faded to the recyclable detritus of our ill-appreciated commuter lives. Yes.  From 2001 until 2007, one might do well ...

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Malaysia the Moderate

Benjamin Domenech at Real Clear World’s ‘The Compass‘ blog produced this interesting piece on Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak’s efforts to bring a moderate form of Islam to Afghanistan. Here’s an excerpt: It was on this day in 2001 that the United States and Britain launched Operation Enduring Freedom ...

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Bob Woodward Says Obama Has to Prove Himself War Time President on Charlie Rose.

Bob Woodward has been flying about D.C talking up his book, “Obama’s Wars”. And for good reason.  He’s leveling very serious arguments against President Obama’s handling of the War in Afghanistan.  He has already talked up a storm with Larry King.  Now he’s delivered quite a few blows to the ...

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Woodward Primes General Powell as Next Secretary of Defense

In his interview with Larry King, journalist Bob Woodward has come out and said outright that Colin Powell is the best candidate for Secretary of Defense after Robert Gates steps down from that role in 2011. General Powell, as Woodward has pointed out numerous times, is a walking embodiment of the ...

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