South Asia

35 Items

Jan. 10, 2017: a member of the Afghan security forces stands guard near the site of two blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

'Mission Accomplished' Will Never Come in Afghanistan

| Mar. 28, 2017

"What began in 2001 as a focused effort to topple the Taliban and rout al Qaeda has become an endless, costly, and unrealistic effort with no clearly discernible endpoint and little hope of success. It has become our forgotten war, and the chief aim of those in charge of the operation seems to be keeping it off the front pages and out of the public eye."

Company A, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, part of Task Force 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment (TF 1-18 IN) board aircraft in Kuwait on 19 OCT 2006 in order to move to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What Do Politicians Really Mean by 'Global Leadership?'

| September 4, 2015

"...[W]hat I'd really like to know is what the different candidates think about this issue, and hear them explain why U.S. taxpayers should pay a lot more than our allies’ citizens do and how Americans actually benefit from the energetic foreign policy that both GOP and Democratic stalwarts never even question. I'd also like to see reporters give them a good grilling on this topic, and refuse to accept vague or non-specific responses."

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."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Credibility Addiction

| January 6, 2015

"When Washington goes to war on the basis of cooked intelligence, worst-case assumptions, and unsurpassed hubris, then other countries will be warier the next time we try to get them to line up alongside us....If foreign powers believe U.S. policy is driven more by domestic politics than by strategic imperatives, they'll view us with barely veiled contempt and meddle even more in our porous political system."

Book - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Digital is the New Third Age: Adventures in the Blogosphere

| July 2014

This book is a collection of the author's blogposts from 2008–2013, almost all of them from the Huffington Post and reposted on the website of the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs by the International Security Program. Most of them deal with the author's particular area of expertise, from Morocco to Bangladesh, but also with Europe and transatlantic issues. A few are film reviews, and others deal with the U.S. Presidency and the Congress.

    Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

    Another Successful Special Operation

    | June 8, 2014

    "We should look at what happened from a different point of view. This was another successful special operation: recovery of a prisoner of war, with Taliban shooters in the hills overlooking the scene somewhere — nowhere — in Afghanistan; and with American C-130 gunships prowling overhead. In came the helicopter, and in a few minutes Sgt. Bergdahl was whisked away. No one got hurt."

    President of the United States, Barack Obama, talks with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, during a telephone call in the Oval Office on 27 September 2013.

    White House Photo

    Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

    The Peacemaking Presidency

    | November 25, 2013

    "The Obama Administration is on the way to becoming the peacemaking presidency, after having been handed down two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and having been urged to start two others (Syria and Iran). The way the President handled these challenges should ease the way for Hillary Clinton in 2016, should she decide to run."

    Spc. Justin Slagle returns to Forward Operating Base Lane in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after an air assault mission in the Zabul province of Afghanistan, Oct. 15, 2009.

    U.S. Army Photo

    Journal Article - International Affairs

    System Failure: The Underlying Causes of US Policy-making Errors in Afghanistan

    | July 2013

    This article finds that there were severe shortcomings in the acquisition and processing of information and a lack of institutional self-evaluation; civilian and military leaders made major strategic misjudgements in mistaking the strategy for the goal, overestimating the efficacy of military force or resources, and drawing false lessons from history or analogous cases such as Iraq; leaders were predisposed to overconfidence and oversimplification; and, at the highest level, policies were distorted by domestic politics. The article contends that the cumulative impact of these shortcomings was sufficient to seriously disrupt the functioning of the foreign policy-making system.