South Asia

27 Items

satellite images of what the State Department described as a building in a prison complex in Syria that was modified to support a crematorium

State Department/DigitalGlobe via AP

Analysis & Opinions - War on the Rocks

How to Get Away with Mass Murder: Denying Mass Atrocities in Sri Lanka and Syria

| May 18, 2017

"Much has been made of the example set by Sri Lanka's ruthless strategy as an alternative to 'hearts and minds' counterinsurgency efforts. Governments battling stubborn militant movements continue to seek advice from Colombo on employing the 'Rajapaksa model.' But the successful elimination of the LTTE in 2009 wasn't the only unexpected feat Sri Lanka accomplished. It also managed to preempt international action long enough to conclude its brutal campaign, despite state-perpetrated civilian casualties on a massive scale. Syria, where more than 200,000 civilians have died since 2011, is poised to test the limits of this precedent."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

5 Burning Nuclear Problems on Trump’s Desk

| Jan. 25, 2017

Nuclear weapons remain the most powerful weapons on the planet and how President Donald Trump’s team manages nuclear issues is critical to our security. These are hard challenges; none were perfectly addressed under President Obama’s leadership. But we made them a priority from day one. Whether or not the new team puts them at the top of the to-do list, here are five issues that will demand their attention before too long.

The Harry S. Truman Building located at 2201 C Street, NW in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., 28 July 2009. It is the U.S. Department of State headquarters.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

51 U.S. Diplomats Criticized U.S. Policy on Syria. Will Their Dissent Make a Difference?

| June 24, 2016

"The large number of signatories on the dissenting memo is truly historic, but what's equally significant is that these diplomats have now joined a long line of government dissidents during cases of mass atrocity. These 51 names, as yet unknown, undoubtedly will someday rank alongside Henry Morgenthau Jr., Archer Blood and Marshall Harris, 20th century U.S. government officials who took a stand against U.S. policy in response to mass killings abroad."

LTTE bike platoon north of Kilinochi, Sri Lanka, 2004. The LTTE closely monitored their troops and brutally punished the few soldiers who raped.

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

How to Counter Rape During War

| October 28, 2015

"...[A]rmies that rape should be publicly named and shamed, a tactic that research shows significantly ameliorated the severity of genocides and state-sponsored killing in the last several decades. If a soldier is widely identified as a rapist, or a commander is known around the world to tolerate rape, the shame and threat to their reputation may dissuade their peers — particularly those who seek international legitimacy — from raping."

Afghan men stand near some posters which were destroyed by Taliban fighters, in a street of Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2015.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

The Second Kick of a Mule in Afghanistan

| October 1, 2015

"Whatever military victories were won by international forces during their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only true test of success in these wars is the long-term durability of their pro-Western regimes. But in both countries, these regimes are withering under the insurgent challenge and morphing into something quite unlike what their patrons intended."

U.S. President George W. Bush & Iraqi President Jalal Talabani stand between the U.S. and Iraq flags. Bush is on his final visit to Iraq as president to meet with Iraqi leaders and sign a ceremonial copy of the security agreement, Dec. 14, 2008.

U.S. Navy Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

A Bush Has a New Theory on Who Lost Iraq

| August 17, 2015

"Though no U.S. commentators have stated that the U.S. government actively aided ISIS and other Jihadi groups, it is worthwhile stating — at least to my knowledge — that no Arab Jihadis have received American aid. Some confusion may have arisen from the fact that on the Afghan side it is a different story."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Just Say No

| March 31, 2015

"...[T]he central challenge in the greater Middle East is the lack of effective and legitimate political institutions — especially in places like Libya, Syria, Yemen, and post-invasion Iraq. Military force is useful for certain purposes, but the ability to blow things up and kill people does not translate into a workable set of governing institutions. In fact, the more the United States relies on military force to 'manage' these problems, the more it encourages others to take up arms against us or against our clients, which in turn allows those with a taste and talent for violence to dominate the political landscape."

Members of II Squadron RAF Regiment & the U.S. Marine Corps board U.S. Osprey Aircraft at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Feb. 6, 2012. The Coalition troops deployed on Operation Backfoot, a combined operation to disrupt insurgent activity in Helmand province.

Cpl. Andy Benson, RAF

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Why We Failed to Win a Decisive Victory in Afghanistan

| March 2, 2015

"In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, when the conventional phase was over and the mission became indistinguishable from enforcing the writ of a relatively corrupt government over disillusioned parts of its own population, the notion that a decisive outcome was even available is illusory: first, because that task is endless — as it's about changing people's political affiliations, which are liable to evolve (as we have seen quite spectacularly in Iraq since the surge); second, because there was not a single coherent enemy force to be rendered powerless in the first place."