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Perception is Reality: the Problem in Afghanistan Today

Perception is Reality: the Problem in Afghanistan Today

Perception is reality, here there and in Afghanistan; and for good reason, whatever the truth. After thirty years of near constant war the Afghan people might be forgiven for not being bothered to test their reality for truth, when often enough their lives are bought for cheap blood money and whatever passes for reality is […]

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Former President and Anti-Taliban Leader Rabbani Assassinated

Former President and Anti-Taliban Leader Rabbani Assassinated

The assassination of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani is a signal of things to come: the Taliban have demonstrated that they have upper the hand over the Afghan military and police. The Taliban have shown that they are not weakening and that they will not settle the conflict in Afghanistan on any terms but their own. […]

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A Counterfactual Afghanistan

A Counterfactual Afghanistan

Ten years ago the story of the Taliban as a criminal organization began its unfolding international public narrative. Ten years ago the story of Islamist rebellion and insurgency in Afghanistan dovetailed directly with the story of American politics in the 21st century. That story is run through with cheap talk, carnage, forsaken promises and missed […]

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Mullah Omar Delivers Strategic Message Before Eid

Mullah Omar Delivers Strategic Message Before Eid

On the occasion of Eid, the celebration at the end of the month of Ramadan, Mullah Omar declared the Taliban are willing to deal politically with the U.S and President Karzai’s government Kabul. The Taliban leader let it be known that even though he is now principally interested in a workable prisoner swap, in the […]

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Afghans Stone to Death Taliban Insurgents: Vengeance or Anti-Taliban Insurgency?

Afghans Stone to Death Taliban Insurgents: Vengeance or Anti-Taliban Insurgency?

Two days ago a mob of villagers stoned to death a Taliban commander and his body guard in the Nawa District of Helmand Province. The news had gone under-reported for some time even though the New York Times picked it up. Today a few more outlets ran the news. No doubt the Pentagon and the […]

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On the Taliban’s Strategic Offensive Against Civilian Targets

On the Taliban’s Strategic Offensive Against Civilian Targets

The report of the deadly twinned attack against the British Council in Kabul this morning serve to confirm the hypothesis that militants associated with the Taliban are ramping up their strategy to target civilians as well as military assets. The Taliban have claimed direct responsibility for the attack in which at least 8 people, nearly […]

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Afghanistan’s Politics in Turmoil After String of Assassinations

Afghanistan’s  Politics in Turmoil After String of Assassinations

Afghanistan seems to be sinking- that is, whatever there is left to sink. Earlier this month, the King of Kandahar, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was assassinated and predictable political exchange immediately ground to a halt. The powerful thorn on the side of Afghan pols, General David Petraeus, left to take up his new role as CIA […]

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On the State of On-Going War in Pakistan

On the State of On-Going War in Pakistan

Has the war in Afghanistan spread into Pakistan? Yes; the circumstantial evidence certainly points to just that. The argument for, and fact of, war rests partly on the strategy through which combat in Afghanistan and Pakistan is being conducted. That strategy is precisely this-counterterrorism, which relies heavily on night raids and drone attacks;that strategy is […]

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Ahmed Wali Karzai, “The King of Kandahar” Assassinated

Ahmed Wali Karzai, “The King of Kandahar” Assassinated

Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother and, seemingly, sole proprietor of Kandahar-the birth place of the Taliban in Afghanistan–has been assassinated by a close family associate. The reason behind the assassination has not been revealed. This news fundamentally roils politics, strategy and hedging in and for Afghanistan. Ahmed Wali, the most important linchpin of […]

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On ISI’s Involvement in Pakistani Journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad’s Murder

On ISI’s Involvement in Pakistani Journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad’s Murder

Recent events in Pakistan continue to roil the dysfunctional machinery of that country’s convoluted and stably corruptible domestic and international politics. U.S. leaders have indicated that there exists conclusive proof that the ISI, Pakistan’s vaunted, though suspiciously-embarrasingly- incompetent spy service was complicit in the murder of respected investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad. Recent reporting by […]

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On Obama's Troop Drawdown: An Analysis

The New York Times reported, less than five hours before a scheduled prime time nationally televised speech, that President Obama has indeed decided to drawdown the 30,000 surge troops out of Afghanistan.  10,000 are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year; the other 20,000 by summer of 2012-just before the November election. […]

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President Obama Likely to Announce 30,000 Surge Troop Withdrawal

President Barack Obama is due to announce his plan to start pulling U.S troops out of Afghanistan during a televised speech to his American and international audience, his sixth since assuming office in January 2009. This rather militarily dicey and politically expedient move is being made right in the midst of wholesale national security changes in […]

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New Public Opinion Poll Shows Decreased Support for Political Institutions in Pakistan

The latest Pew Research Center public opinion poll shows that the Pakistani people continue to hold the U.S in astonishingly low regard. However, one sliver of good news, for American interests, is that since the May 2nd Navy Seal operation that captured and killed Osama bin Laden, U.S support in Pakistan has not fallen further: […]

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Finance Minister Defends GDP Numbers Before Submitting Budget

The Finance Minister of Bangladesh, AMA Muhith recently angrily thrashed out the Center for Policy Dialogue, a well-respected think tank, for questioning the official government sponsored GDP projected numbers for fiscal year 2011-2012. GDP, the gross domestic product, is a measure of a country’s economic growth and as such is a bet of how politics […]

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Pakistan Military's Gambit with the U.S and its Enemies

It’s hard to push off the already emergent, now growing belief that the Pakistani military, and indeed the Pakistani government, is not making strong enough moves against  the insurgent groups.  The recent news that Ilyas Kashmiri, a top terrorist aligned with al Qaeda who  trained as a Pakistani special forces officer, does not diminish the […]

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About the Author

Faheem Haider
Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link: http://blackandwhiteandthings.wordpress.com

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