The Af-Pak Train Wreck

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”

Blood and Oil in Central Asia

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”

The Afghan Rubik’s Cube

Afghanistan is a gatherer of metaphors: "crossroads of Asia," "graveyard of empires," and the "Great Game," to name a few. It might be more accurate, however, to think of it as a Rubik’s Cube, that frustrating puzzle of intersecting blocks that only works when everything fits perfectly. The trick for the Obama administration is to … Continue reading “The Afghan Rubik’s Cube”