Reality Check

The Goldilocks Principle

No one's perfect, and surely not President Obama. But in the rough and tumble world of foreign policy, it's hard to argue he hasn't done most things just about right.

Aaron David Miller |

Slide Show

Southern Discomfort

As the flaming truck that greeted visiting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's arrival in southern Afghanistan vividly illustrates, after years of intense fighting, security remains elusive.

Slide Show |


Mission Incomplete

The United States needs to stay in Afghanistan until the job is done.

Bruce Riedel |


The Politics of Sorry

Six stations on the road to forgiveness -- and why there's no harm in President Obama apologizing to Afghanistan.

Karl E. Meyer |


The Ron Paul Revolution Continues

If they continue to malign and ignore the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, GOP elders will be slamming the door on their future.

Christopher Preble |

Photo Essay

Obama’s Shadow Wars

Missile-wielding drones and elite Special Forces units are the new face of American power, and the White House is increasingly relying on them to fight terror in the farthest corners of the globe.

Photo Essay |

Slide Show

This World in Photos This Week

Greece goes up in flames, Xi comes to Washington, and Brazil's Carnival begins.

Slide Show |


Waiting for Spring

If the Middle East is your yardstick, the countries of Central Asia ought to be on the verge of revolution. But don't hold your breath.

Scott Radnitz |


Open Relationship

The United States is doing something right in the war on terror.

Frank Cilluffo |


The Coming Civil War in Afghanistan

It's not inevitable, but it's more likely than ever before. Here's how to avoid the worst.

Arif Rafiq |

Terms of Engagement

Why Stop There?

The Obama administration's leaner, meaner military may be still too big.

James Traub |


Talking 'Bout Negotiation

The five big reasons why critics say talks with the Taliban won’t work -- and why they’re wrong.

Shamila N. Chaudhary |


Enough Already

It's time to talk to the Taliban.

Stephen Hadley and John Podesta |

Terms of Engagement

Threats and Promises

Do Obama’s red lines with Iran and others really mean “or else”?

James Traub |

The List

8 Geopolitically Endangered Species

Meet the weaker countries that will suffer from American decline.

Zbigniew Brzezinski |


Obama Should Apologize

The facts are in: NATO forces mistakenly killed Pakistani soldiers. It’s time to swallow American pride and say we’re sorry.

C. Christine Fair |

The Optimist

Change Afghanistan Can Believe In

10 years later, life isn't just better -- it's much better.

Charles Kenny |

Terms of Engagement

Quid Pro Go

Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai wants billions of Western dollars in aid for decades to come. Fine, but not with him in charge.

James Traub |


Northern Distribution Nightmare

Tensions in Pakistan are running high. So, to resupply U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Washington’s having to cut deals with some very unsavory regimes.

David Trilling |


When Democrats Became Doves

With the GOP candidates eager to call Obama weak-willed on foreign policy, it's worth looking at how Democrats got stuck with this tag.

Michael Cohen |


The Elements' Armistice

Weather dictates the rhythm of nearly everything in rural Afghanistan, including war.

Anna Badkhen |


War Outside the Frame

It's not Restrepo. The conflict in northern Afghanistan has no running time.

Anna Badkhen |


Crime Scene

The violence in northern Afghanistan today is so complicated that even Afghans have trouble untangling its roots.

Anna Badkhen |


Gateway Interventions

Drones along the Mexican border, commandos in Central America -- the war on drugs looks more than ever like a real war. But do Americans have any idea what they're getting into?

James Poulos |


Plan Afghanistan

Why the Colombia model -- even if it means drug war and armed rebellion -- is the best chance for U.S. success in Central Asia.

Paul Wolfowitz |


How Many Ways Can We Lose in Afghanistan?

The Pentagon's process for awarding contracts in Afghanistan is bad for U.S. business, and bad for the rebuilding effort in that embattled country.

Zalmay Khalilzad |


Pakistan's Alternate Universe

What possible motive does Islamabad have for supporting Afghanistan's bloody insurgency?

John R. Schmidt |

In Box

The Things They Carried: The Afghan Policewoman

A BlackBerry knockoff, a pocket knife, and salt to throw in the eyes of bad guys.

Anna Badkhen |

Slide Show

Ten Years in Afghanistan

A photographic retrospective of America's longest war.

Slide Show |