Will Trump Have the Courage to Sound a Retreat in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is not just the longest and most expensive American war to date, it also seems that it can be carried on indefinitely, largely due to the fact that it resembles the catastrophe US troops faced in Vietnam. However, there’s no way for Washington to back away from it without a significant loss of … Continue reading Will Trump Have the Courage to Sound a Retreat in Afghanistan

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Trump Slips into ‘Endless War’ Cycle

There was, during the course of the 2016 campaign, a small but vocal group of antiwar libertarians and conservatives who had convinced themselves that Donald Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton because he, Trump, had made his (fictitious) opposition to the Iraq War a cornerstone of his candidacy. Trump, some believed, was a Republican in … Continue reading Trump Slips into ‘Endless War’ Cycle

U.S. soldiers board a military aircraft at the U.S. base in Bagram, north of Kabul, as they leave Afghanistan in 2011.

Trump Has Called the Afghan War a “Mess.” His Generals Want to Escalate It

I hate agreeing with Donald Trump. “We made a terrible mistake getting involved in the first place,” he told CNN in October, referring to the war in Afghanistan, which he called a “mess.” “I would leave the troops there begrudgingly,” the then-presidential candidate added. “Believe me, I’m not happy about it.” You remember Afghanistan, right? … Continue reading Trump Has Called the Afghan War a “Mess.” His Generals Want to Escalate It

Chinese Troops Appear to be Operating in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon is OK with it

There is mounting evidence that Chinese ground troops are operating inside Afghanistan, conducting joint counter-terror patrols with Afghan forces along a 50-mile stretch of their shared border and fueling speculation that Beijing is preparing to play a significantly greater role in the country's security once the U.S. and NATO leave. The full scope of China's … Continue reading Chinese Troops Appear to be Operating in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon is OK with it

Russian South Asia Complexity

Russian moves to improve relations with Pakistan to complicate its South Asian strategy? How Russia can mange relations with Pakistan keeping time-tested privileged partnership with India? Russian moves are tactical in nature or following a comprehensive strategy to deal with two rival neighbors? Russia requires a policy for South Asia region as whole? What would … Continue reading Russian South Asia Complexity

China’s Military Power Projection into Af-Pak

Last week, I looked at the recent string of attacks in Pakistan and attributed them to state-sponsored terrorism facilitated by Indian and Afghan security services. That opinion got plenty of support on the hawkish side of Pakistan media. Munir Akram Pakistan's ex ambassador to the UN declared "we know the hostile powers that have sponsored … Continue reading China’s Military Power Projection into Af-Pak

Geopolitics Behind Pakistan’s Sehwan Shrine Bombing

Mayhem stalks South Asia as a series of terrorist bombings ripped through Pakistan in February. The most horrific targeted worshipers at one of Pakistan's most famous and magnificent Sufi shrines at Sehwan. At least 88 people died and hundreds were injured as a suicide bomber detonated his vest filled with ball bearings and bolts inside … Continue reading Geopolitics Behind Pakistan’s Sehwan Shrine Bombing

Af-Pak: The Next Theater for Middle Eastern War Expansion

It is true that US-Pakistan relations deteriorated after 2011. The Lad­en, Salala and Raymon­d events were responsible for that. But I ­doubt that the US has finally lost influence in Pakistan's intelligence services. I think that if the region wants peace back, ­we should let Afghan ­people decide their own political fate. If they like … Continue reading Af-Pak: The Next Theater for Middle Eastern War Expansion

In Afghanistan, America’s Biggest Foe Is Self-Deception

America’s war in Afghanistan is now in its 16th year, the longest foreign war in our history. The phrase “no end in sight” barely covers the situation. Prospects of victory -- if victory is defined as eliminating that country as a haven for Islamist terrorists while creating a representative government in Kabul -- are arguably … Continue reading In Afghanistan, America’s Biggest Foe Is Self-Deception