Afghanistan

Fox Outfoxed: Fresh Revelations Force U.K. Defense Secretary to Quit

Liam Fox must have realized he could not outrun his fate. And so on Oct. 14 Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street. “I have repeatedly said that the national interest must always come before personal interest,” he wrote. “I now have to hold myself to my own standard.”

Fox’s resignation …

Mining for Silver Bullets: Why Afghan Minerals Won’t Save the Country

The future of Afghanistan can be seen in a lump of lustrous black rock showcased on Wahidullah Shahrani’s bookshelf. Or so he would have me believe. The energetic minister of mines has spent the past half hour elucidating the potentials of the rich iron deposit in the mountainous province of Bamiyan from which that rock comes. He …

Couch Potato Briefing: Ten Years of War in Afghanistan

The return of the Couch Potato Briefing marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.

Kandahar

The International Crisis Group released in August a comprehensive report detailing the continued failure of President Hamid Karzai’s government and foreign governments to harness all the resources and aid slated for …

More U.S.-Pakistan Kabuki Over Islamabad’s Terror Ties

Last week’s Taliban assault on the U.S. embassy and other prominent ministerial buildings in Kabul brought into relief once more the brazen conviction of militants in war-blighted Afghanistan as well as their considerable tactical capabilities in pulling off the raid. U.S. diplomats quickly pointed the finger at the al-Qaeda-linked …

The Assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani: An End To Reconciliation?

In Afghanistan, the turban transcends tribe. It is worn by all ethnic groups, from the Tajiks and Uzbeks that dominate the north, to the Pashtuns who reside in the south. The Taliban wear turbans, but so do the tribal militias fighting them. Though out of fashion among the young and urban, it is still the symbol of a man’s honor …

With Forceful Messaging, Can the U.S. Alienate the Taliban?

When militants serving the Haqqani Network attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul in 2008, killing 54, it took several months for suspicions to leak out that the group may have been behind the attack. Not so with last week’s commando-style assault on the U.S. Embassy and other sites in the capital. Within hours Afghan officials were …

How Did Other Countries “Lose” in Libya?

In TIME’s international editions, Jorge Castañeda, a former Mexican Foreign Minister, rates the “winners and losers” of the Libyan imbroglio, praising Western leaders like French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British P.M. David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama for pressing for intervention. Countries that abstained from action …

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