There are moments that define a war. Just such a one occurred on June 21, when Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry helicoptered into Marjah for a photo op with the locals. It was to be a capstone event, the fruit of a four-month counterinsurgency offensive by Marines, North Atlantic … Continue reading “The Great Myth: Counterinsurgency”
When U.S. forces found themselves beset by a growing insurgency in Iraq following their lightning overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the most obvious parallel that came to mind was Vietnam: an occupying army, far from home, besieged by a shadowy foe. But Patrick Cockburn, the Independent‘s ace Middle East reporter, suggested that the escalating chaos was … Continue reading “Turkey, America, and Empire’s Twilight”
Has the drone war come home? asks Conn Hallinan
Conn Hallinan on the Central Asian mess.
Conn Hallinan on US intervention in Asia
When President Barack Obama laid out his plan for winning the war in Afghanistan, behind him stood an army of ghosts: Greeks, Mongols, Buddhists, British, and Russians, all whom had almost the same illusions as the current resident of the Oval Office about Central Asia. The first four armies are dust. But there are Russian … Continue reading “The Af-Pak Train Wreck”
We’re ‘clearing and holding’ ghosts, says Conn Hallinan
Conn Hallinan: was the bombing in Kunduz an election ploy?
What Are These People Thinking? Conn Hallinan on Afghanistan delusions
In the past month, two seemingly unrelated events have turned Central Asia into a potential flashpoint: an aggressively expanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a nascent strategic alliance between Russia and China. At stake is nothing less than who holds the future high ground in the competition for the world’s energy resources. Increasing Competition … Continue reading “Blood and Oil in Central Asia”