The Coming Drone Blowback

The Coming Drone Blowback

The targeted assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last weekend wasn’t just another drone strike. First of all, it was conducted by the U.S. military, not the CIA, which has orchestrated nearly all drone strikes in Pakistan. Second, it didn’t...
How a Child is Made into a Suicide Bomber

How a Child is Made into a Suicide Bomber

In 1954, a single book destroyed the popular notion that children are innocent souls. In that book, a plane of such innocent souls crashes on a deserted island. There, in a paradise of coral and coconuts and wild pigs, the survivors soon revert to a state of nature....
U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons More an Irritant Than Deterrent

U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons More an Irritant Than Deterrent

You’ve heard of planned obsolescence — tactical nuclear weapons are a case of deferred obsolescence: a weapon that has long ago worn out its welcome in the U.S. arsenal. On June 6, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Steve Andreasen, a consultant for the...
Afghanistan: Is It Really the End Game?

Afghanistan: Is It Really the End Game?

Gunmen in Pakistan on Monday set ablaze five trucks carrying NATO equipment out of Afghanistan as the international military alliance winds down it combat mission there, officials said. —Agence-France Presse, 3/1/13 There is nothing that better sums up the utter...

Emphasis Added: The Foreign Policy Week in Pieces (4/12)

Mental Illness a Prerequisite to Run for Public Office It’s unbelievable what people would do to be in power. I know: It happens everywhere. I can’t believe that normal people in their right mind would run for elected position. There has to be something...

Emphasis Added: The Foreign Policy Week in Pieces (3/19)

U.S. Concerns About Security Only Makes Pakistan More Insecure “When the U.S. says that they are worried about the security [of] Pakistan’s nuclear arms, it means it fears that these might fall in the hands of such elements as the extremist Taliban,”...
A Focal Points Roundtable: Is the Taliban Losing?

A Focal Points Roundtable: Is the Taliban Losing?

Recent coverage of Afghanistan by Newsweek-slash-the Daily Beast has been illuminating. On December 30 Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau wrote: “A shroud of anxiety hangs over the coming year in Afghanistan. It’s not only the country’s war-weary...

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...

U.S. Using Bad Info for Drone Strikes Like It Did for Detainees

As when the United States greased the skids for war with Iraq, it’s ratcheting up tensions with Iran by disseminating misinformation about nuclear weapons. The United States has also failed to learn from other mistakes in the Iraq, as well as Afghanistan....
Down with Drone War Silence

Down with Drone War Silence

The world recently celebrated Malala Day in honor of the young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, an innocent victim of political violence perpetrated by the Taliban. She is rightfully honored as a hero for her willingness to speak up for her right to an education...
Once More Into the Breach for the “Savior of Pakistan”

Once More Into the Breach for the “Savior of Pakistan”

There’s only person who’s less worthy of being referred to by cool initials than A.Q. Khan. That’s Khalid Sheik Mohammed: KSM sounds way too familiar, creepy, even in its coziness. Before interviewing him for a September 5 piece at Foreign Policy,...
Pakistan: The Real Swing State

Pakistan: The Real Swing State

Outside a downtown Islamabad coffee shop that sells an assortment of French macaroons (cupcakes are so passé), I strike up a conversation with Omar Malik. A 34-year-old who works for a private telecommunications company, Malik seems liberal. Liberal in the way...