Foreign Policy Blogs

Afghanistan

WaPo Concurs on Waverer-in-Chief

The Washington Post editorial page shares my concern of President Obama’s seeming lack of commitment in his Afghanistan strategy, as portrayed in Bob Woodward’s ‘Obama’s Wars’ series: What’s most disturbing in Mr. Woodward’s book is the evidence it offers that Mr. Obama’s own commitment to his plan is weak. ...

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Bob Woodward's 'Obama's War' Part One: Waverer-in-Chief?

Bob Woodward's 'Obama's War' Part One: Waverer-in-Chief?

Well, I just finished the 1st of Bob Woodward’s three-part series ‘Obama’s War’ in the Washington Post and came away keying a different aspect than Woodward and likely the Obama administration wanted to get across. Woodward’s main theme in this first section is that the ...

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The Black Tulip: On Truth and Narrative Fiction in One Piece of Afghan Cinema

Ever since I watched the Ridley Scott film “Gladiator” ten years ago, and winced at the public and private dissembling that was the meat of that film, I’ve always toed a somewhat cautionary line between freedom of expression–as something more than a principle– and responsible art-making.   At issue: when ...

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Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections

Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections

Apologies for my lack of coverage regarding the recent Afghanistan parliamentary elections, but I’ve been swamped with some of life’s other challenges…..basically my 4 month year old daughter’s unquenchable thirst for her dad’s attention. Anyhoo, many others have written on the subject, including Joshua Foust and some of his ...

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FPA All Over Afghanistan

Foreign Policy Association has seemed to transform into Afghanistan Association as our website has recently produced a myriad of fascinating pieces on the Central Asian state. Here are three really worth checking out! On FPA’s website’s main page, the Viewpoint series features an article by Mehdi Noorbaksh ...

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Helmandshire Turning Into Helmandburg

Helmandshire Turning Into Helmandburg

In just a few short months, American troops will be replacing the embedded British soldiers in most of Helmand province. These British troops have spent the past several years attempting to bring stability to one of Afghanistan’s most violent and unstable regions. For instance, one-third of the 335 British soldiers ...

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Money, Money, Money!

The latest Afghanistan and Iraq cost analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will not sit well with many Americans living on a tight budget. Though the war in Iraq is costing less and less, the US military is basically transferring these saved funds to the Afghan conflict. Between 2009 and ...

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Poisonous Gas in Girls Schools: Taliban Policy

In the past two years there have been many (one is too many) reported cases of Afghan girls mysteriously falling ill at school. It was widely speculated that members of the Taliban were purposefully poisoning these girls in order to punish/intimidate them from getting an education. Sadly, recent tests ...

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CIA Chief in Kabul: Obama/Karzai Administration Relations

This Wall Street Journal story by Siobhan Gorman details the influential position of a CIA chief inside of the Karzai administration in Kabul. The piece is worthwhile reading for its insight into the Obama administration’s Afghan teams layout and method for working with the at times, volatile, President Karzai. President Obama’s ...

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Exiting the Exit Strategy?

Exiting the Exit Strategy?

With all the hub-bub about the Wikileaks, tragic death of the humanitarian workers, President Karzai’s anti anti-corruption crusade, etc. an important seachange in the Obama administration’s Afghan strategy has appeared; The administration is discreetly walking back its July 2011 drawdown date. Here is Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week ...

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Taliban Use Sharia to Capture Power in Northern Afghanistan

The recent news of the young couple stoned to death in Kunduz Province in Northern Afghanistan suggests that the Taliban are returning to power, town by town spot by spot through an assertive campaign based on long-accepted conservative social practices. Belief and adherence to Shar’iah has long been a lodestar ...

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General David Petraeus Meets the Press

By now nearly every media outlet has written up comments about General David Petraeus’s interview with David Gregory on Meet the Press. Indeed, I have as well, in my other role as way-ward political artist.  For now, though I’d like comment on General Petraeus’ ...

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Oh My!

Oh My!

The latest Gallup poll measuring the American public’s approval/disapproval of President Obama on a series of issues came out today and the Afghan numbers are downright depressing. A strong majority, 57% disapprove of the President’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan, with only 36% approving. These numbers rival the ...

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Gen. Petraeus Signals Longer Commitment in Afghanistan

General David Petraeus is asking for more time on the ground in Afghanistan to work out his counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy, the one that he used to immense acclaim in Iraq. This is good news, though how excited one might be by this news depends on what exactly one thinks ...

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Murder of Aid Workers Likely Signals Shift in Taliban Strategy

The recent murders of the innocent and brave medical aid workers are heinous crimes against humanity.  In a troubling turn, this news heralds a new problem in Afghanistan: the murders were committed in Northern Afghanistan, long thought Northern Alliance territory where the Taliban owned no ground. The murders offer ...

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