Pakistanis Pay Price for CIA Use of Doctor as Asset in bin Laden Raid

At the New York Times, Declan Walsh and Donald G. McNeil write about Islamist extremists targeting Pakistani women who work for the UN administering polio vaccines. After militants stalked and killed eight of them over the course of a three-day, nationwide vaccination...

Bin Laden Put Out to Pasture

It’s starting to look more and more like Osama bin Laden was not only in hiding at Abbottabad, he was in forced exile. It seems as al Qaeda may have seized the opportunity of his need to go into hiding to put him out to pasture. In a blockbuster piece on May 3...

Bin Laden Grows a Conscience

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Director of National Intelligence released a tiny sample of the documents that U.S. Special Operations Forces captured at Osama Bin Laden’s compound to the Combating Terrorist Center (CTC) at West Point for it to...
State of the Union’s Foreign Policy: Unilateral Triumphalism

State of the Union’s Foreign Policy: Unilateral Triumphalism

In his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama began with what is widely perceived to be his strong suit: foreign policy. The nation is safer under his watch, he reassured his audience, now that Osama bin Laden is gone, al-Qaeda is broken, and...
The Fading U.S.-Pakistan Alliance

The Fading U.S.-Pakistan Alliance

As the United States struggles to stabilize the volatile landscape in Afghanistan, assert a long-term strategic presence in Iraq, and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it is gradually confronting a precarious and consequential estrangement from its long-term...
Review: 9/11 and Was There an Alternative?

Review: 9/11 and Was There an Alternative?

“The book you are holding was conceived, produced, and published as an act of protest.” This is the first line of the editor’s introduction to Noam Chomsky’s revised book about the causes and effects of the September 11 attacks. Originally...
Al-Qaeda Lost the Battle Long Ago

Al-Qaeda Lost the Battle Long Ago

Osama bin Laden didn’t live to see the 10th anniversary of September 11. And his organization, according to many U.S. government insiders, is on its last legs since his death at the hands of U.S. Special Forces in May. “We’re within reach of...
Making the U.S.-Pakistan Relationship Less Toxic

Making the U.S.-Pakistan Relationship Less Toxic

Since the covert U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden near a Pakistani military installation, the U.S.-Pakistani relationship has rapidly deteriorated. Officials from both countries face increasing political pressure to stand firm in opposition to one another....
Pepsi, Pot, Porn…and Politics

Pepsi, Pot, Porn…and Politics

News sources have recently reported on an interesting assortment of materials at Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. Not only was bin Laden living far from any cave on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, his house apparently had a large supply of Pepsi and Coke...

Bunkum and Debunk ‘Em

The wounded leader of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, left the country over the weekend for Saudi Arabia. The opposition is thrilled. But the country might still descend into chaos, and the biggest beneficiary may be the local al-Qaeda chapter. Or, at least, I believe that...
Washington Still Refuses to Learn an Obvious Lesson

Washington Still Refuses to Learn an Obvious Lesson

Back in 2004, three years into the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 Commission report made its debut to the gushing admiration of the Washington press corps. The report was everything that the mainstream media adores: bipartisan, devoid of divisive finger-pointing,...

A Tale of Two Raids

They were both responsible for thousands of civilian deaths in causes they believed were righteous. They both occupied top spots on the World’s Most Wanted list. They were both the subject of raids that were years in the making and required extensive...