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Tag Archives: Taliban

The Brave Pakistani

The Brave Pakistani

Pakistani born British author, Nadeem Aslam, once said that “Pakistan produces people of extraordinary bravery. But no nation should ever require its citizens to be that brave.”
Aitizaz Hasan is one such brave 15-year-old boy. Born and raised in the village of Ibrahimzai, Hangu, in the North-Western province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa …

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When reporters keep silent instead of scoops

When reporters keep silent instead of scoops

During the Bosnia conflict, reporters in Sarajevo kept quiet about at least two great stories. We did so with an unwritten rule of realizing that sometimes silence is more important than scoops.
The first was most of U.S. knew ABOUT the existence of a tunnel from Sarajevo to beyond the lines …

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Shadow of Afghanistan (2012)

Shadow of Afghanistan (2012)


This documentary is all over the place.
It is in part a history of modern Afghanistan and also a film about independent journalists – some of whom were killed – trying to report on the situation on the ground.
Afghanistan is called “The Graveyard of Empires” for good reason: Every …

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The Afghan Local Police and the U.S. exit strategy: Paying village militias

The Afghan Local Police and the U.S. exit strategy:  Paying village militias

by Jennifer Norris
Americans who left the theatre watching “Zero Dark Thirty” thinking that the dark stain of torture is in our past, should be cautioned by our exit strategy in Afghanistan.
As a 2014 deadline for ending our combat mission in Afghanistan approaches, policymakers say that our main objective is to …

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Pakistan: Will Doctrinal Shifts Lead to Changes toward India?

Pakistan: Will Doctrinal Shifts Lead to Changes toward India?

According to new media reports (here and here), the Pakistani army has revised its doctrinal handbook to give priority to the country’s burgeoning internal security challenges.  The change appears, at least on the surface, to represent a fundamental shift away from the …

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Health Worker Deaths in Pakistan: More Victims of the War on Terror?

Health Worker Deaths in Pakistan: More Victims of the War on Terror?

With the opening of “Zero Dark Thirty” this week, many have condemned the depiction of torture in the film — and debates have resurfaced about the “enhanced interrogation” of suspected terrorists by the United States to find Osama bin Laden. What gets left out of these discussions is the …

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What Pakistan Seeks in Afghanistan

What Pakistan Seeks in Afghanistan

By Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, Middle East Institute Scholar-In-Residence
Assertions and opinions in this publication are solely those of the above-mentioned author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Middle East Institute, which expressly does not take positions on Middle East policy.
Washington and Kabul have welcomed increased Pakistani …

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U.S. Interests in the Mideast–Forget Human Rights says Aaron David Miller, and Think Guns, Oil, and More Guns

U.S. Interests in the Mideast–Forget Human Rights says Aaron David Miller, and Think Guns, Oil, and More Guns

The Syrian rebels, or opposition, or the Syrian National Coalition (the name this motley assembly of Sunnis, Salafists, jihadists, and foreign insurgents) agreed to take on in Doha as a prerequisite for U.S. support (money PLUS guns), successfully launched a surface to air missile

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Take a Bite out of Terror: Battling the Taliban’s Influence in Schools

Take a Bite out of Terror: Battling the Taliban’s Influence in Schools

Combat Outpost Zormat, Paktia Province
When U.S. Major Lee and Captain Gil entered Ganat Kahiyl High School in eastern Afghanistan recently, a local teacher slipped them a small note: “The Taliban have visited our school and forced their curriculum upon us. Can the government help?”
This was not an empty …

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Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11


It is difficult to find words as the anniversary of 9/11 arrives again. The inclination is strong to sum-up, to summarize in some way the distance covered, as if distance somehow lends better perspective on the attacks of 9/11. Last year I wrote a

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The Twitterati: When All Else Fails, Bring Out the 140 Characters

The Twitterati: When All Else Fails, Bring Out the 140 Characters

The Arab Spring awoke people to the power of social media in a political context.  Of course, you would have to be living under a rock to think it was the first time Twitter was ever used to coordinate mass protests — it was hugely prominent in Iran during the …

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In the News: Family Planning Gets a Boost & the US’s Effect on Polio and HIV

In the News: Family Planning Gets a Boost & the US’s Effect on Polio and HIV

In global health news this week, I have updates to previously covered topics. World leaders have committed money and support to family planning, spearheaded by the Gates Foundation. The CIA’s fake vaccination program, part of efforts to ferret out Osama Bin Laden, has contributed to a ban on polio vaccinations …

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The Bear Comes Back Over the Mountain

The Bear Comes Back Over the Mountain

Russia looks to do its part for Afghanistan, and itself
While trigger-happy drones do their part to smooth a coming US drawdown in Afghanistan, pundits and diplomats alike nervously pace the green rooms of news and late-night talk shows. What will a counter-insurgency look like without a stabilizing super power? …

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Bowe Bergdahl: Remembering the Forgotten Man

Bowe Bergdahl: Remembering the Forgotten Man

Why is the captured U.S. soldier not part of the strategic release program in Afghanistan?
Update (May 9, 2012):  Confirming earlier speculation, the parents of Bowe Bergdahl today announced that he is a focus of now-stalled negotiations between the United States and the Taliban over a proposed exchange of Guantanamo Bay …

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Karzai Hat, No Takers

Karzai Hat, No Takers

Right after U.S. forces went into Afghanistan in 2001 — in those heady “Paris 1944” days of liberating Kabul and most of the country — one of my best friends put to me an urgent request. Knowing I was en route to Kabul he asked me …

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