Central Asia

Photo Essay

The Few, the Proud, the Unready

Can Afghanistan's army stand on its own?

Photo Essay |

Kremlinology 2012

Putin's Puppets

How do you win a Russian election? First, invent a coalition.

Julia Ioffe |

Terms of Engagement

Freedom From Fear

Now that he's accomplished the central aim of George W. Bush's foreign policy, Barack Obama can finally get started on his own.

James Traub |

Think Again

Think Again: Al Qaeda

The world's most notorious terrorist organization was never quite what Americans thought it was -- and Osama bin Laden's death doesn't mean that it's down for the count.

Daniel Byman |


The Lies They Tell Us

Can the Pakistani government's web of deceit survive the death of Osama bin Laden?

Mosharraf Zaidi |


The Prisoners' Dilemma

Does WikiLeaks' newest document dump tell us anything we don't know about Guantánamo, or is it just another reminder that the United States' least worst place is now its most intractable legal problem? FP asked four experts on military law and interrogation to weigh in on the Gitmo papers.

Charles Homans |


Russia's Crime of the Century

How crooked officials pulled off a massive scam, spent millions on Dubai real estate, and killed my partner when he tried to expose them.

Jamison Firestone |

Slide Show

Failing Grades

The real schools of Afghanistan and Pakistan look nothing like the fantasy peddled by Greg Mortenson.

Slide Show |


Cup Half-Empty

Why we all wanted to believe what Greg Mortenson was selling.

Mosharraf Zaidi |


Two to Tango

David Miliband has a plan for bringing both sides to the negotiating table in Afghanistan. But getting the Taliban to show up won't be easy.

Christian Caryl |

Think Again

Think Again: The Afghan Drug Trade

Why cracking down on Afghanistan's opium business won't help stop the Taliban -- or the United States' own drug problems.

Jonathan P. Caulkins, Jonathan D. Kulick, and Mark A.R. Kleiman |

Spring In Afghanistan

Cold and Violent

In the first installment of a regular weekly dispatch, Anna Badkhen returns to Northern Afghanistan to find a freezing, chaotic place.

Anna Badkhen |


A Return to Hell in Swat

The Pakistani Army -- and Gen. David Petraeus -- treated the counterinsurgency effort in the Swat Valley as a monumental success. A year later, things on the ground look quite a bit different.

Tara McKelvey |


The Islamic Republic of Talibanistan

Why the West should stop fighting with the Taliban for hearts and minds, and start letting the Islamists try their hand at governing.

Saleem H. Ali |


Obama Is Helping Iran

How Washington's awkward handling of Middle East uprisings is playing into the hands of the Islamic Republic.

Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett |

Slide Show

Solitary Man

An FP slide show of Hamid Karzai's tumultuous nine years as president of Afghanistan.

Slide Show |

Terms of Engagement

Slash and Burn

Congressional Republicans are bent on all but eliminating the U.S. government's foreign aid budget. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be the only one who can stop them.

James Traub |

Slide Show

Echoes of Belgrade

From Minsk to Cairo, the nonviolent democratic uprisings of the past decade have been influenced by the tactics and imagery of Serbia's 2000 Bulldozer Revolution.

Slide Show |


How Russia and China See the Egyptian Revolution

In Moscow and Beijing, the powers that be are understandably unsettled by events in Cairo -- and Washington can't afford to ignore their reaction.

Fiona Hill |


Did the Hu Summit Mean Anything?

A tour through the WikiLeaks cables suggests that the China-U.S. relationship is far too strained for a single state dinner to resolve.

James Mann |

Slide Show

Next Year's Wars

The 16 brewing conflicts to watch for in 2011.

International Crisis Group |


5 Ways to Win the War in Afghanistan

Here's how Obama can reverse the dangerous deterioration of conditions in America's longest war.

Andrew Exum |

Terms of Engagement

The Sunshine Policy

The United States has quietly asked allies like Yemen and Pakistan for some extraordinary favors in its war on terrorism. Is it really so terrible if WikiLeaks forces them to explain those demands?

James Traub |

The List

Planet Gulag

The world has many Liu Xiaobos. Here are 15 who matter.

Freedom House |


The Nazarbayev Conundrum

The West needs Kazakhstan for energy, security, and help in Central Asia. But how can it promote democracy when the autocratic president is holding all the cards?

Jeffrey Gedmin |


Al Qaeda's M&A Strategy

Is franchising a successful way to build a global terror network?

Daniel Byman |

Terms of Engagement

The Land of No Good Options

The WikiLeaks cables show a U.S. diplomatic corps adept at diagnosing the big problems of American foreign policy -- and a country hopeless at solving them.

James Traub |


Rethinking Objectives in Afghanistan

The United States invaded Afghanistan to defeat al Qaeda. It should stay that way.

Philip Mudd |


The Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir

Why the key to winning in Afghanistan is peace between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Ahmed Rashid |


The Russians Return

Russia's back in Afghanistan, this time in cooperation with the West -- but do objectives really align?

James Kirchick |