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  • Take Off Rose-Colored Glasses when it comes to Taliban Reconciliation

    Before concluding that today’s New York Times article on Taliban outreach to Karzai means that an Afghan settlement is on the horizon, consider today’s other news from Afghanistan, which includes a suicide attack that killed the Deputy Governor of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. The point is the Taliban may be reaching … More

    Woodward Revelations Show Obama’s Weakness on National Security

    Today’s front-page Washington Post story on Bob Woodward’s book, Obama’s Wars, scheduled for release next week, provides disturbing revelations about President Obama’s views on terrorism and his lack of commitment to securing Afghanistan. The book apparently details how Obama is desperately seeking to get out of the war in Afghanistan, … More

    General Petraeus Lays out Clear Benchmarks on Afghanistan

    General Petraeus laid out clear-cut benchmarks that would indicate signs of progress with the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan in the lead up to the December review at an inter-agency meeting at the White House on Monday, according to today’s New York Times. In addition to the number of Afghan forces … More

    Missed Opportunities in the Oval Office

    Unfortunately, President Obama missed a valuable opportunity tonight to demonstrate that he is fully committed to success in Afghanistan. Instead he stubbornly reiterated his July 2011 withdrawal date. Obama rightly said Americans should not lose sight of what is at stake in Afghanistan and that the U.S. must prevent the … More

    Seeing Pakistan through Flood Crisis

    Pakistan is facing what may turn out to be its worst natural catastrophe ever. The U.S. must focus on providing maximum relief assistance over the coming weeks and plan to partner with Pakistan in leading an international effort to rehabilitate and reconstruct the flood-affected areas over the longer term. A … More

    Senate Hearing Cautions Administration on Timelines and Taliban Reconciliation

    “Can we improve the Afghanistan Government? Maybe. Can we do it by July 2011? No.” This statement came from Dr. David Kilcullen, an expert in counterinsurgency and former advisor to General Petraeus, during rigorous questioning at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) hearing last week titled, “Perspectives on Reconciliation Options … More

    Wikisteria: Don’t Take Anti-War Bait

    The aim of releasing thousands of classified documents on the Afghanistan war on the WikiLeaks Web site was apparently to undermine American public support for the war. The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said he wanted the world to see the “true nature of the war” and equated the WikiLeaks … More

    A Newsless Wikileak: New Afghan Strategy Still Sound

    The posting of over 90,000 classified US government documents by Wikileaks has raised fresh questions about the US strategy in Afghanistan. Leaking of classified information, particularly on this scale, has the potential to damage US national security interests and in general should be discouraged. Much of the information from the … More

    Pardon of J.S. Tissainayagam is Positive Step for Sri Lanka

    Last week President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka issued a full pardon to J.S. Tissainayagam, a Tamil journalist who had spent 21 months in detention for his conviction under Sri Lankan anti-terrorism laws for criticizing the actions by the Sri Lankan army during the civil war with the Liberation Tigers … More

    Need for U.S. Leadership on Afghanistan-Pakistan Reconciliation

    A front-page story on Afghan-Pakistani relations in today’s Washington Post indicates that Afghanistan and Pakistan are discussing a peace settlement for Afghanistan. While a genuine thaw in relations between the two countries would be welcome, the idea that the U.S. would take a back seat in any effort to negotiate … More