Tag: Taliban

Afghanistan’s Lessons for Syria

The bloody history of Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1980s – how the U.S. “victory” over the Soviets morphed into decades of chaos – is a cautionary tale for today’s Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

America Digs Its Own Afghan Grave

Afghanistan has long been called the “graveyard of empires,” the site of failed invasions. But the U.S. – in its 15-plus-year endeavor – seems determined to dig its own grave there, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Needing an Exit from Afghan Quagmire

The failure of U.S. policy in Afghanistan has been obvious for years, but neither President Bush nor President Obama wanted the defeat hung on them, so the bloody folly goes on, a test for the next president, says Alon Ben-Meir.

The Limits of Jihadi Nihilism

The West has committed many sins against the Muslim world, making moral pronouncements from Washington, London or Paris ring hollow, but more and more Muslims are recognizing that the violent nihilism of jihadi terror is morally reprehensible and must be…

Touchy Issue: Talking with ‘Terrorists’

Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

In the 1980s, President Reagan funded and armed Islamic fundamentalists to defeat a Soviet-backed secular regime in Afghanistan. Now, one of those ex-U.S. clients is throwing his support behind the brutal Islamic State, a lesson about geopolitical expediency, writes ex-CIA analyst…

‘War on Terror’ and the Bergdahl Swap

After the 9/11 attacks, narrow “counterterrorism” operations gave way to the blunderbuss “war on terror,” opening the way to more traditional practices of war including prisoner exchanges, like the one for Sgt. Bergdahl, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

An Open Door to Leave Afghanistan

President Obama has promised to end America’s combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but is haggling with Afghan President Karzai over how to keep soldiers there for another decade, a dispute that Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says is a…

A Possible Path Out of Afghanistan

The unpredictable Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has issued new demands for the U.S. to meet if it wants to keep a smaller military force in Afghanistan after 2014, creating a possible route for the U.S. to finally end its longest…

Hard Lessons from the Afghan War

For years, the Afghan Taliban have said they would negotiate with the U.S. once it was clear the Americans were committed to leaving, making their sudden commitment to talk less “surprising.” But Official Washington could learn other important lessons from…

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