Will There Always Be a Pakistan?

Fissures within the military could tear not just the army but the entire country apart. It's coming sooner than you think.

Seth Cropsey |


Obama's Indecent Interval

Despite the U.S. president's pleas to the contrary, the war in Afghanistan looks more like Vietnam than ever.

Thomas H. Johnson |

Briefing Book

Addicted to Contractors

The United States is hooked on privatized warfare in Afghanistan. And it's more costly than you think.

Allison Stanger |

Briefing Book

Money Can't Buy America Love

Millions of dollars are being pumped into hearts and minds projects from Kabul to Kandahar. Trouble is, it's not working. And it might even be making things worse.

Andrew Wilder |


Afghanistan Is Still Worth the Fight

There may not be a single or short explanation justifying a U.S. presence in Afghanistan. But that doesn't mean it's time to cut and run.

J Alexander Thier |


The Al Qaeda Diaries

As the Pakistani soldiers moved into South Waziristan, they found something almost as valuable as al Qaeda itself: the diaries and books that explain how militant ideology binds the diffuse world of terrorism together.

Imtiaz Gul |


My Nights With Hamid

The world is hounding the Afghan president to crack down on corruption and kick out entrenched warlords. I don't think he's going to do it, and I should know: I’m the man who wrote his autobiography.

Nick B. Mills |


Zardari in the Crosshairs

Pakistan's leader is losing grip on his presidency and the opposition parties are waiting in the wings. As his popularity plummets, his political fate -- as well as that of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the nation -- hang in the balance. 



When Generals and Ambassadors Feud

Take it from this former ambassador: Disagreements over the war in Afghanistan may do more long-term harm than short-term good.

James Dobbins |


Please Send More Than Troops

If the window closes to fix Afghanistan's government, more boots on the ground won't matter.

Ashraf Ghani |


Interview: U.N. Undersecretary-General John Holmes

The top humanitarian official for the United Nations tells FP how to do aid in a time of war. Here’s a hint: it’s not pretty.

Elizabeth Dickinson |


The Avoidable Death of Afghan Democracy

Elections could be the country's undoing. Or, it could be a good start for much-needed reform.

Gerard Russell |


A Royal Afghan Mess

As I witnessed firsthand while working as a poll monitor, the Afghan elections has been a disaster every step of the way. Here's how not to repeat the error.

Evelyn N. Farkas |



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Elizabeth Dickinson |


The Brothers Karzai and the CIA

Is the United States paying off Kandahar's first sibling? Maybe, but who cares?

Jeff Stein |


Call in the Civilians

Counterinsurgency is at least 50 percent civilian. So where have all the Foreign Service officers gone?

Ron Capps |


Why Al Qaeda Wants a Safe Haven

Take it from someone who has spent the last half-decade studying terrorist plots: A homeless al Qaeda is the best guarantee against large-scale attacks.

Jim Arkedis |


Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban: “Diametrically Opposed”?

Is the jihadi uproar over an al-Qaeda-Taliban split for real?

Vahid Brown |

Briefing Book

Time for an Afghan Surge

The runoff elections may be the last best chance to come up with a plan for Afghanistan. Trouble is, the Obama administration is looking for answers in all the wrong places.

Fabrice Pothier |


Disastrous Lessons

Gordon M. Goldstein's Lessons in Disaster ignores history -- and makes dangerous recommendations to the Obama White House today.

Mark Moyar |


"See You Soon, If We’re Still Alive"

The only two Westerners living on their own in Kandahar have been bombed, ambushed, and nearly sold to kidnappers. Here's what they've learned about the country where war just won't end. 

Alex Strick van Linschoten |


Turf Wars

Why Pakistan's military hates America's new aid package.

Ayesha Siddiqa |


A Recipe for Somalia

A light footprint won’t work in Afghanistan. Just look at the Horn of Africa for all the reasons why not.

Richard Bennet |


Lessons in Disaster

Why is the Obama administration reading up on its Vietnam history?

Gordon M. Goldstein |

Briefing Book

The Guantanamo Countdown

President Obama promised to close the facility within a year, but eight months later, the path is looking rockier. Here's what the administration needs to do to meet its deadline.

Sarah Mendelson |

Think Again

Think Again: Lawrence of Arabia

Afghanistan is a mess. Suicide bombs are still going off in Iraq. Is nation-building doomed to failure? It's time to consult the original insurgent, T.E. Lawrence.

John C. Hulsman |

Briefing Book

Losing the War of Exhaustion

It's not low troop levels that stand to defeat the United States in Afghanistan. It's plain old public fatigue.

Mark T. Kimmitt |


Is Afghanistan the New Africa?

U.S. dollars and a shiny new airport are not signs of success.

Ellen Knickmeyer |


The Nightmare Scenario in Afghanistan

The Afghan electoral crisis threatens to destabilize the country and further erode confidence in the Karzai government. But thankfully, a solution exists.

William Maley |


Four Reasons for Optimism in Pakistan

Pakistan's military and government is finally turning the tide against the Taliban. Isn't it time we give them a little credit?

Imtiaz Gul |