Since it became apparent several years ago that both the Afghan and Pakistani states were either unable or unwilling to wage full-on war against the Taliban groups that plague both countries, the word on every diplomat's list has been "talks." Sitting down with the Taliban, the theory went, was the only way to end the war in Afghanistan and bring peace to the country's eastern neighbor, Pakistan. The Taliban may be a band of murderous thugs, but you should not refuse to talk to people simply because they are evil.
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). One of the numerous problems confronting Afghanistan is that it faces various threats from extremist groups that operate out of Pakistan.
Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for speaking up. Now she's telling her story.
One way: to recover as gracefully as 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai has from being shot in the face
It has been a gruesome 48 hours. On Saturday, in Kenya, at least 68 people were slaughtered when gunmen from Somalia's Shahab extremist group entered a mall and started firing indiscriminately. (Or perhaps not entirely indiscriminately: The New York Times reports that witnesses claimed Muslims were told to run away). In Pakistan, at least 78 people were killed when suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar.
Rare is the occasion when you can invoke Munich without embarrassment. Indeed, it is probably fair to say that although the Munich Agreement was signed only 75 years ago this month, it has nevertheless been the most overused analogy in human history. The problems with deploying it to make an argument about current events are numerous. A few of them:1. Very few political movements are as bad as Nazism.2. Just because you are dealing with bad people doesn't mean military force is the answer.
In a blockbuster story in The Washington Post, Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman detail more aspects of the United States's so called "black budget," which was revealed by Edward Snowden in leaks to the newspaper. Today's long piece is about the United States's strained relationship with Pakistan, and offers some fresh detail about the country's secretive nuclear program.
This morning, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist the Taliban shot in the head in 2012 in an attempt to silence her crusade for girls’ education, addressed the United Nations in her first public speech since her attempted assasination. Sixteen years old as of today, she spoke with a worldliness and clarity that moved many in the audience to tears.
President Barack Obama included many powerful phrases in his speech Thursday at the National Defense University. One of his most powerful was the invocation of President James Madison's warning that "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
A small victory for democracy
Yes, the election turned back power to a pol who once cultivated the Taliban and presided over a near-war with India. Here's why you should consider that a success.
A sex symbol takes on a mullah in Pakistan's national elections
A sex symbol takes on a mullah in Pakistan's national elections.