Political Decentralization Might Help in Conflict-Ridden Countries

What do Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan have in common? Although it’s true that the United States has conducted recent military interventions in all of them, the more fundamental answer is that they are all artificial countries. That is, they are each made up of feuding ethno-sectarian groups or tribes. And perhaps the instability … Continue reading “Political Decentralization Might Help in Conflict-Ridden Countries”

Silence of the Drones

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker friends like to say, and … Continue reading “Silence of the Drones”

Pakistan Parties Uniting Against Drones

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Political parties are stepping up opposition to the U.S. drone strikes and a planned operation to cleanse border areas of militants. “Till now only the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek Insaf [Movement for Justice Party] staunchly opposed the U.S. drones and the military campaign in Waziristan,” Muhammad Azeem, former mayor in Mardan, one … Continue reading “Pakistan Parties Uniting Against Drones”

Report Claims No Pakistani Civilian Deaths From Drones in 2012

Civilian deaths due to drone strikes in Pakistan are falling rapidly, and the death rate is now close to zero — or so asserts a New America Foundation (NAF) report. The report was authored by Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland of NAF, a public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. Bergen is the cable … Continue reading “Report Claims No Pakistani Civilian Deaths From Drones in 2012”

Experts See New US-Pakistan Supply Accord as Tenuous

As NATO supply convoys began crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan for the first time in more than seven months Thursday, analysts warned that the reopening of the key route does not necessarily signal a new dawn in the fraught relations between Washington and Islamabad. The agreement, which will save NATO countries, especially the U.S., hundreds … Continue reading “Experts See New US-Pakistan Supply Accord as Tenuous”

The CIA and Polio in Pakistan

If this were 1951, American families would be bracing right now for another summer of the polio terror. Those younger than say, 55, may not be able to relate. The worst scare we’ve had these days is waiting ten hours in line for a shot for a swine flu plague that never came (though an … Continue reading “The CIA and Polio in Pakistan”

Did Anyone Ever Bother to Get the Pakistani Perspective?

The U.S. targeting of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the number-two man in al-Qaeda, continues the American quest to kill its way out of its terrorist problem using pilotless drones, Special Forces raids, and other secret methods. Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of the U.S. military’s central command and author of its counterinsurgency manual, used to believe … Continue reading “Did Anyone Ever Bother to Get the Pakistani Perspective?”

Ryan Crocker Slips Quietly Away

Washington’s foreign policy elite loves to mock the overuse of the cliché “graveyard of empires,” but it seems as though the last decade of our increasingly failed bid in Afghanistan is littered with lackluster epitaphs for American generals, envoys and diplomats. In other words, they come, they go, and Afghanistan still stands as a paradox … Continue reading “Ryan Crocker Slips Quietly Away”

How to Trump a Superpower

Chalk it up to the genuine strangeness of our second Afghan War. Americans, according to the latest polls, are turning against the conflict in ever greater numbers, yet it’s remarkable how little — beyond a few obvious, sensational events — they know about what’s actually going on there in their name. Take as an example … Continue reading “How to Trump a Superpower”

Obama Administration Silencing Pakistani Drone-Strike Lawyer

When is the last time you heard from a civilian victim of the CIA’s secret drone strikes? Sure, most of them can’t speak because they’re deceased. But many leave behind bereaved and angry family members ready to proclaim their innocence and denounce the absence of due process, the lack of accountability, and the utter impunity … Continue reading “Obama Administration Silencing Pakistani Drone-Strike Lawyer”