Now We See You, Now We Don’t

In early June, 2009, I was in the Shah Mansoor displaced persons camp in Pakistan, listening to one resident detail the carnage which had spurred his and his family’s flight there a mere 15 days earlier.  Their city, Mingora, had come under massive aerial bombardment. He recalled harried efforts to bury corpses found on the … Continue reading “Now We See You, Now We Don’t”

Hawks Divided: AfPak or Iran?

A potentially major clash appears to be developing between powerful factions inside and outside the U.S. government, pitting those who see the Afghanistan/Pakistan ("AfPak") theater as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security against those who believe that the danger posed by a nuclear Iran must be given priority. The Iran hawks, concentrated within … Continue reading “Hawks Divided: AfPak or Iran?”

Officials Admit Pakistanis Reject US Priorities

The advances of the Taliban insurgents beyond the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in recent weeks and the failure of the Pakistani military to counter them have brought a rare moment of truth for top national security officials of the Barack Obama administration. Accustomed to making whatever assumptions are necessary to support ambitious administration policies … Continue reading “Officials Admit Pakistanis Reject US Priorities”

Af-Pak Troubles Coming to a Head

Despite an overhaul of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, it appears that the U.S. strategy there is running into obstacles as varied as the U.S. Congress and the leaders of those countries, who are both visiting Washington this week. Before their arrival, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan were … Continue reading “Af-Pak Troubles Coming to a Head”

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”

A Closer Look at the US’ Drones

It’s one thing to study online articles describing the MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators. It’s quite another to identify these drones as they take off from runways at Nevada’s Creech Air Force base, where our "Ground the Drones" campaign is holding a ten-day vigil. This morning, during a one hour walk from Cactus Springs, Nevada, … Continue reading “A Closer Look at the US’ Drones”