Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Afghanistan

China Wins Afghan Oil Contract

China Wins Afghan Oil Contract

Any suspicions that the US went into Afghanistan to secure access to resources went out the window last week. On Wednesday, Tom A. Peter over at the Christian Science Monitor reported, “China’s National Petroleum Corporation became the first foreign company to tap into Afghanistan’s oil and gas reserves. Chinese officials have estimated that the deal could […]

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A Passage to Kabul

A Passage to Kabul

A recent reading of E. M. Forster’s novel, A Passage to India, prompted me to reflect on the West’s drawn out engagement in Afghanistan. The centerpiece of this prescient narrative is an incident in an ancient cave in Northwestern India between an Indian doctor and an English woman during the heyday of the British Raj. […]

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2011 – An Unexceptional Year for American Exceptionalism?

2011 – An Unexceptional Year for American Exceptionalism?

2011 evidenced our inability to predict substantial change and respond to tumultuous events. The ramifications of foreign policy decisions will not show their true colors for some time. Below, I discuss notable states – Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Qatar, Cuba, Burma, Ivory Coast, Norway, Israel, and Palestine – that I believe are important because of their effects on peace […]

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Smart, Soft, Silent Powers: The UNESCO Problem of the Euro-Atlantic Community

Smart, Soft, Silent Powers: The UNESCO Problem of the Euro-Atlantic Community

UNESCO recently admitted Palestine as a full time member of the UN family. This decision has had considerable consequences: division among the EU powerhouses, U.S. suspension of its financial support to UNESCO, and the end of the Euro-Atlantic community unity as we know it. The 194 members of the UN Education, Science, and Cultural Organization […]

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Time to make India’s Afghanistan Policy Relevant for the Endgame

Time to make India’s Afghanistan Policy Relevant for the Endgame

India’s Afghanistan policy is a classic case displaying the pros and cons of soft power approach in international relations. Soft power is fruitful as a continuum of the smart power strategy where hard power is purposefully used. Soft power is helpful in creating space for and sustaining hard power options. A strategy that rests only […]

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming American Foreign Policy

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming American Foreign Policy

Has America exhibited moral courage by addressing change, or the lack there of, in the world? Or has it squandered our hope for a principled effort to rid American foreign policy of its realist inclinations and desire to cling to paradigms? Many of us have placed our trust in America (i.e., President Obama) to challenge […]

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Woman versus Taliban

Woman versus Taliban

This past fortnight seems to have been full of surprises – Australia, for example, introduced a third gender category for passports, beyond the tradition male/female dichotomy. And fittingly, there have also been two stories in the media that demonstrate that subversion of this “either/or” set-up isn’t limited to the West: women in Afghanistan and Libya […]

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Strategic Innovation And Contemporary Warfare: Where Have All The Mansteins Gone?

Strategic Innovation And Contemporary Warfare: Where Have All The Mansteins Gone?

Wired recently published this article entitled ” How Special Ops Copied al-Qaida to Kill it”. It outlines the work of General Stanley McChrystal and his efforts to defeat a Al Quaida, based on the realization that, “to defeat a networked enemy we had to become a network ourselves.”  The general set up a highly efficient […]

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‘Pakistan views India as the perpetual enemy and the US as an unfaithful ally’

‘Pakistan views India as the perpetual enemy and the US as an unfaithful ally’

The following interview originally appeared on Dawn.com, Pakistan’s most respected English news source. I am reproducing it here for the interest of our readers. It’s a rare opportunity to come across an American diplomat who understands the South Asian culture and speaks fluent Urdu and Hindi. Former ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer, 66, is one of […]

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Seeing through the Smoke – Petraeus, the CIA, and Afghanistan

Seeing through the Smoke – Petraeus, the CIA, and Afghanistan

Whether due to the hunt for Gaddafi, or in anticipation of Obama’s new plan to create jobs, Afghanistan has taken a backseat to other news developments vying for Americans’ attention. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius has an intriguing article, consequently, that some may have missed. Ignatius discusses a classified CIA analytical piece on the state of […]

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U.S. Endures Deadly Month

U.S. Endures Deadly Month

As this last day of the month unfolds I think we can be forgiven for being a bit distracted as a country. An earthquake hit the East Coast, and while not unprecedented, it was certainly jarring for many people. And then Hurricane Irene battered and drenched the coast with millions of people still feeling the […]

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Sticky Politics

Sticky Politics

Guns, sex, and cartoons. If you’re a 13 year old boy – scratch that – if you are a male, those words probably gain your attention a bit. And since US foreign policy circles are predominately male, I’m hoping my readership levels will go up with this post. On to the sensationalism…. Guns. As discussed in […]

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The Limits of Counter-Insurgency in Afghanistan or the Failure of the EU

The Limits of Counter-Insurgency in Afghanistan or the Failure of the EU

The international community has been involved in Afghanistan since 2001 as a consequence of the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil. By 2003, NATO took control of the ISAF and expanded its operations across all Afghanistan. Likewise, the Europeans have been involved in Afghanistan through several types of missions. On one side, Europeans have contributed to […]

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The Surge Recedes

The Surge Recedes

President Obama’s announcement of far larger and more accelerated withdrawals of U.S. forces from Afghanistan than many had expected affects Indian security interests and the U.S.-India relationship in significant ways.

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Obama Defends Assertive Post-War U.S. Role

Obama Defends Assertive Post-War U.S. Role

President Obama addressed the nation last night and put forward his plan to draw-down U.S. forces in Afghanistan starting with 10,000 troops this year. As you may have expected, his plans have been met with criticism, with some members of his base saying it’s not enough and members of the GOP opposition saying it’s too […]

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