Khalilzad and the Gangs of Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai is the grandson of Khair Mohammed of the village of Karz, not far from Kandahar. He was an indigent member of the Popalzai tribe with a large family who migrated to Kandahar seeking a better life. Normally, when a Pashtun is of noble stock he’s known by a patronym, but more humble tribal … Continue reading “Khalilzad and the Gangs of Afghanistan”

Karzai Discredits Democracy in Afghanistan

In a recent speech given at the American-Afghan business conference, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy to the UN, and one of the enthusiastic proponents of using American "hard power" to reorder the Muslim world, finally admitted to the myriad problems facing the international community in its efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict. That these pronouncements … Continue reading “Karzai Discredits Democracy in Afghanistan”

Britain’s Neo-Imperial Dreams in Afghanistan

Dean Acheson, the distinguished American statesman, famously opined in a speech at West Point in 1962, "that Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role." Forty years later, in 2002, Tony Blair and fellow dreamers thought the tragedy of 9/11 provided them with the opportunity once again to play a … Continue reading “Britain’s Neo-Imperial Dreams in Afghanistan”

Britain’s Boot Sale: Desperate Measures for Desperate Times

"£2.2bn Army Boot Sale Funds Iraq and Afghanistan War"shouted the headline in The Daily Mail, a British tabloid left on the seat next to me by a debarking fellow passenger during a recent trip. "What?" I thought. "The Brits, having lost their shirts trying to realize Blair’s neo-imperial dreams, are now reduced to having their … Continue reading “Britain’s Boot Sale: Desperate Measures for Desperate Times”

Blair’s Folly

In 1996, Sir Robert Cooper published a pamphlet entitled "The Postmodern State and the World Order" [.pdf]. In it, he suggested, "The postmodern world has to start to get used to double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with old-fashioned states outside the postmodern … Continue reading “Blair’s Folly”

Karzai: Revealed, Reviled, Orphaned, and at Bay

Recently, the international media has begun to report opinions about Karzai that are at odds with past flattering articles published in Western media. It appears that Karzai has lost the beauteous Teflon coating that was applied to him by his foreign backers, when he was plucked from obscurity, groomed as the future savior of the … Continue reading “Karzai: Revealed, Reviled, Orphaned, and at Bay”