Rapidly Ending the War in Afghanistan Solves Many Problems

So many government efforts run aground on problems with poor incentives. When the U.S. government intervenes overseas, those poor incentives are compounded by trying to impose Western values and institutions, usually by force, on peoples with starkly different cultural values, customs, and ways of doing things. Such was the case with failed U.S. interventions in … Continue reading “Rapidly Ending the War in Afghanistan Solves Many Problems”

The Gingrich Doctrine: ‘Kill Them!’

His hands on his ample hips, Newt Gingrich looked like Mussolini up there on the stage at the GOP presidential debate as he bellowed “everybody knows” the Pakistanis were hiding Osama bin Laden in plain sight, “a mile from a Pakistani military academy.” Ron Paul, who knows more about monetary policy than the intricacies of … Continue reading “The Gingrich Doctrine: ‘Kill Them!’”

Sometimes, Bad-Tasting Medicine Needs to Be Swallowed

Like a mother forcing her children to take bad-tasting medicine for their own good, disgruntled American “allies” have recently compelled the financially ailing U.S. superpower to scale back meddling abroad that it can no longer afford. The United States — always reluctant to remove troops from any overseas location, even if the situation on the … Continue reading “Sometimes, Bad-Tasting Medicine Needs to Be Swallowed”

Pak Border Post Attack a Big Loss for US War Policy

The U.S. military and the Barack Obama administration have been thrown into confusion by the attack on two Pakistani military posts near the border with Afghanistan Saturday morning, even as the attacks provoked the Pakistani government and military leadership into much stronger opposition to U.S. policy in the region. The decision to attack by helicopter … Continue reading “Pak Border Post Attack a Big Loss for US War Policy”

US Knows Pressure on Pakistan Won’t Change Policy

The U.S. threat last week that “all options” are on the table if the Pakistani military doesn’t cut its ties with the Haqqani network of anti-U.S. insurgents created the appearance of a crisis involving potential U.S. military escalation in Pakistan. But there is much less substance to the administration’s threatening rhetoric than was apparent. In … Continue reading “US Knows Pressure on Pakistan Won’t Change Policy”

Are We At War With Pakistan?

In the days before the Empire, generals – particularly Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs – kept their mouths shut. The Founders’ justified fears of military intrusion into the political realm were still present in the American consciousness, and the idea that an American general might try to influence policy directly, by making public statements on … Continue reading “Are We At War With Pakistan?”

Journalists Caught Between the Army and the Taliban

PESHAWAR — Journalists covering the United States–led “war-on-terror” in Pakistan’s turbulent Northwest are not sure who wants them out of the way more — the Taliban or the Pakistan army. So, when Hazrat Khan Mohmand, who works with the AVT Khyber TV Channel, was brutally beaten up by masked men on Aug. 22 near the … Continue reading “Journalists Caught Between the Army and the Taliban”

CIA’s Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs

When David Petraeus walks into the Central Intelligence Agency today, he will be taking over an organization whose mission has changed in recent years from gathering and analyzing intelligence to waging military campaigns through drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. But the transformation of the CIA did not simply follow the expansion of the … Continue reading “CIA’s Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs”