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Tag Archives: Taliban

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 2009 ...

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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 to ...

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‘A civil war in Afghanistan will further destabilise Pakistan’

‘A civil war in Afghanistan will further destabilise Pakistan’

                As the debate over the post-2014 Afghanistan gains more attention, observers fear a ‘political earthquake’ in the country where the US troops’ withdrawal coincides with the next Afghan presidential elections. With the exit of the United States, Afghanistan’s economy and sources of financing the government in Kabul ...

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The many names of the game

The many names of the game

Osama bin Laden: killed and al Qaeda: on the run. That’s the balance sheet — more or less — that the U.S. has to share with the world. Meanwhile, its biggest ally in the War on Terror — Pakistan — has nothing to present except that its ...

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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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‘Pak army more anti-American than radical’

I thought you would be interested in this interview that I did last week for Dawn.com Pakistan’s respected news source. Dr. Stephen Philip Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, Washington DC, is a respected authority on the Pakistani army and the country’s politics. His book The Pakistan Army ...

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Hoopla!

Bin Ladin is dead. Again. In the last ten years he has been reported “killed” at least four times. The only difference this time was that the President of the United States announced the death of the number one terrorist in the world. Above all, this time he was killed ...

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'Talibanistan' Film Review

I urge all our Afghanistan readers to check out Sean Patrick Murphy’s review of the film ‘Talibanistan’ over at his FPA Global Film Review blog. I have not seen the film, but from Murphy’s description it sounds worthwhile. Here is his intro: Hearts and minds. That’s what narrator Peter Coyote says ...

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Amidst Local Government Absence, Taliban Develops A Shadow Government

The New York Times published an excellent expose on how the resurgent Taliban has resurfaced and consolidated power in parts of Afghanistan from which the government had turned away.  In the absence of a local consensus goverment the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the proper banner name of teh ...

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The State of the Union: President Obama on Afghanistan, Iraq, Etc.

For a majority of President Obama’s 2nd State of the Union address foreign affairs were only brought up in relation to domestic economic or social issues. For instance, the US was ‘falling behind’ South Korea in education and Europe in infrastructure… The focus on domestic issues ...

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How Pres. Obama's State of the Union Address Bears on Pakistan

President Barack Obama delivered his second State of the Union Address on Tuesday.  Foreign policy did not top the agenda. Instead, as expected, the speech was heavy on domestic policy–even as an important election has swung past American politics, there’s one just around the corner.  Indeed, foreign policy seemed to ...

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Bring it down a notch CIA

The Islamabad station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency hastily departed from Pakistan last week after his cover was blown due to a suspected deliberate leak by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. This act is the latest evidence of the tense relationship between the two spy agencies. It is believed that his cover ...

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