Interview: What Kind of Game is Hamid Karzai Playing?
January 30, 2014
This year will mark the withdrawal of the vast majority—and perhaps all—of the American troops in Afghanistan.
An Absolutely Frightening Story in 'The New York Times'
October 29, 2013
The superb story by Matthew Rosenberg in The New York Times on Tuesday, casually titled 'U.S. Disrupts Tack on Militants,' is actually one of the scarier things written about Afghanistan in quite a while. (And that is saying something).
President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai essentially just had a Skype breakup.
A Brief History of 'Bags of Cash'
April 30, 2013
The CIA's Afghanistan bribes join a long and storied genre.
Why Are We Still Backing Hamid Karzai?
November 19, 2011
“The lion doesn’t like it if a foreigner intrudes into his house. The lion doesn’t like it if a stranger enters his house. The lion doesn’t want his children to be taken away by someone else in the night, the lion won’t let it happen.” Thus spoke Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday to the loya jirga, his country’s traditional council of elders and notables. He warmed up to the theme and the image. “They should not interfere in the lion’s house: just guard the four sides of the forest. They are training our police.
Afghanistan Dispatch: On Patrol
May 20, 2011
Andkhoi, Afghanistan—The changing of the guard in Faryab province takes place in sinister mimicry of the desert’s perpetual diurnal rhythm. In the brief and hazy dusk, police officers patrolling the rutted roads and villages of thirsty apricot groves pile into green pickup trucks and go home. In their place, on motorcycles, in cars, and on foot, the Taliban take charge, until morning. (This is the second in a series of dispatches by Anna Badkhen from northern Afghanistan.
The Immediate Question
May 05, 2011
David Rieff writes about America’s futile war in Afghanistan.
May 04, 2011
The death of Osama bin Laden will raise the inevitable question: What are we still doing in Afghanistan? The answer, of course, is that the mission in Afghanistan is about something bigger and more ambitious than eliminating Al Qaeda’s leaders—most of whom, in any event, are probably living in Pakistan, as bin Laden was when the United States finally tracked him down. No, the mission in Afghanistan isn’t about killing Al Qaeda members.
Afghanistan Dispatch: Permanent Recess
March 31, 2011
Oqa, Afghanistan—After many day-long camel treks to petition the provincial government in Mazar-e-Sharif, the hardscrabble men of Oqa at last secured a promise: The government would send a teacher to their desert hamlet of penniless carpet weavers, barefoot firewood gatherers, and two score clay homes. Elated, the men pitched in to buy a blackboard and some chalk and dragged them into the only space that could pass as a classroom: the doorless anteroom of Oqa’s sole mosque, an oblique and teetering shape the villagers themselves had hand-molded of tumbleweed and mud. That was four years ago.
The Will to Believe
January 27, 2011
Decision Points By George W. Bush (Crown, 497 pp., $35) The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment Edited by Julian E. Zelizer (Princeton University Press, 386 pp., $29.95) George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait By Dan P. McAdams (Oxford University Press, 274 pp., $29.95) It’s worth listening to the audiobook version of Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, because not so long ago Obama had both the time and the inclination to spend many hours voicing the recording himself.