Trump’s New Afghanistan Strategy Isn’t Really a Strategy

Principles guiding a strategy are no substitute for an actual strategy whether developed by Washington or by field commanders To much anticipation, on August 21 President Donald Trump announced “our new strategy” for Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it revealed neither a succinct strategy nor even anything new. It was instead a list of a dozen pronouncements defining various U.S. policies tied to …

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Undercounting the Civilian Dead

Anyone willing to think carefully and critically about the use of armed force against a target such as Islamic State (ISIS) would do well to read the intensively researched piece in the New York Times by investigative journalist Azmat Khan and Arizona State professor Anand Gopal about civilian casualties from the air war waged by …

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Afghanistan War Crimes Probe a Sham and Cover-Up for US

When The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it was planning to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, the timing seemed appropriate. The announcement by the ICC on November 3 came within days of a deadly airstrike by US forces in northern Afghanistan, which UN officials say killed ten civilians. But the history of the …

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How Come Khorasan Caliphate Replaces ISIS?

In recent years, experts from a number of countries have started mentioning the growing threat that the the Khorasan caliphate terrorist group poses to Syria, Iraq, and a number of Central Asian states. Its activities have been reported in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Muslim South Asian countries of the CIS. After the so-called “Arab Spring” even …

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Why Attempts to “Reorganize” Afghan Military Can be Perceived as a Major Challenge for the Region

It’s curious that American advisers in Afghanistan, while citing the decisions adopted at the International Conference on Afghanistan of 2011, as well as NATO’s Chicago summit of 2012, are now forcing Kabul to reorganize its law enforcement agencies. According to their proposal, this “reorganization,” which should begin in early 2018, must result in the reduction …

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Welcome to the Gray Zone: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up for Trump’s Failing Afghanistan War

A recent US report on troop fatalities in Afghanistan, for the first time, failed to mention the number. Did the Americans tell Kabul to omit it? And can we expect more fudging of the truth about Trump's Afghanistan campaign? You betcha... The news from Afghanistan that essential data about the numbers of dead in its …

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How Afghans View the Endless US War

On a recent Friday at the Afghan Peace Volunteers‘ (APV) Borderfree Center, here in Kabul, 30 mothers sat cross-legged along the walls of a large meeting room. Masoumah, who co-coordinates the Center’s “Street Kids School” project, had invited the mothers to a parents meeting. Burka-clad women who wore the veil over their faces looked identical …

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