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  • Shibboleths of the Afghanistan Debate

    Recent statements coming from the White House making distinctions between the Taliban and al-Qaeda and implying that the Taliban is somehow less inimical to U.S. interests are incongruous with developments on the ground, including a major suicide bombing in front of the Indian Embassy in Kabul on Thursday morning and … More

    Obama UN Speech Shows Wavering on Afghanistan

    President Obama’s remarks on Afghanistan in today’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly reveal that he is beginning to second-guess U.S. strategy in the region. While he stated clearly that his administration would not allow al-Qaeda to find sanctuary in Afghanistan or “any other nation” (i.e. Pakistan), he did … More

    Investigating Fraud Accusations Critical to Afghan Electoral Process

    The results of the investigations of voter fraud by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) have become critically important in determining the outcome of the August 20 Afghan election. The Afghan people will not be satisfied with the electoral process until the work of the ECC is completed, which could take … More

    How Safe Are Pakistan’s Nukes?

    A recently-released study by British academic Shaun Gregory that claims Pakistani nuclear complexes have been attacked on three occasions in the last two years has stirred fresh concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. Ensuring that Pakistani nukes stay out of the hands of terrorists certainly must … More

    Shifting Sands in Pakistan

    Pakistani officials have been making a series of surprising statements over the last week. Last Friday, Chief of Army Staff General Kayani told a group of Pakistani naval officers that “[w]hile the external threat to Pakistan continues to exist, it is the internal threat that merits immediate attention.” The statement … More

    Obama in Cairo: Not a Game Changer

    President Obama’s speech was an attempt to create deeper understanding between America and Muslims throughout the world, but the feel-good impact of the speech is unlikely to last long or change opinions about America among those who object to U.S. policies in the Middle East and South Asia. His pledge … More

    Turning Point in Pakistan?

    Today’s bombing in Lahore – the third major terrorist attack in Pakistan’s cultural capital this year – is likely retaliation for the Pakistan military’s recent operations in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). On April 24th, the military started operations to roll back the Taliban in the Buner, Dir and … More

    Pakistan’s Leadership Slowly Awakening to Taliban Threat

    The Taliban’s agreement to pull out of Buner district in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) earlier today, following Pakistan’s deployment of paramilitary troops to the area, demonstrates that the Pakistan military has sent the right signal to the Taliban (at least for now). The Taliban’s occupation of Buner soon … More

    Obama Chooses Winning Strategy for Afghanistan

    The long-awaited new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that President Barack Obama unveiled this morning is the clearest signal yet that the Obama Administration intends to dedicate the time, resources, and U.S. leadership necessary to stabilize the region and contain the terrorist threat in South Asia. Obama laid out a … More

    Swat Peace Agreement Strengthens Taliban Hand in Pakistan

    Islamabad’s decision to allow the implementation of a parallel Islamic courts system in the Malakand Division of the Northwest Frontier Province demonstrates the weakness of the Pakistan government and military in the face of an onslaught by Taliban-backed extremists seeking to take over parts of the province. The government’s capitulation … More