Women’s Rights Endangered in Afghanistan

Women’s Rights Endangered in AfghanistanEven before the drawdown of NATO troops is expected to begin in 2014, there are increasing concerns that the hard-won political, economic and social gains attained by women in Afghanistan are already being eroded, according to a report issued today by the International Crisis Group. It is abundantly clear that women face threats not just…

Lessons From Negotiating With the Taliban

Pakistan's recent release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's second in command, in an effort to catalyze a peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban has not brought an end - or even pause - to the Taliban's violent attacks on Afghans, Americans, or friends and allies. During my tenure as…

Facing up to an Afghan Debacle

The United States-backed Karzai government in Afghanistan has miserably failed in delivering, with serious implications for future security and the political situation because it is basically a failure of the US Counter Insurgency Strategy (COIN). So far, the 12-year war has taken the lives of nearly 3,300 coalition troops and wounded 23,500. Another 1,114 "contractors"…

Afghanistan’s Dim Hopes for Peace

In ancient Rome there was a famous saying Solitudinem Faciunt Pacem Appellant, -- "they create desolation and call it peace." This saying seems to fit the kind of "peace" the US and its allies until rccently sought to establish in Afghanistan. The idea was not to let the Afghans decide their future, their rulers, and…

How to End the Forever War

From both the left and the right, three common misperceptions have emerged about US foreign policy: First, that the Global War on Terror has become a perpetual state of affairs; second, that no strategy is available to end this conflict in the near future; and third, that "the Obama approach to that conflict is just…

To Lift Afghan Women, Educate All

As NATO troops plan to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, the world worries about the country's stability and especially for Afghan women. On his first trip to Afghanistan in March as US secretary of state, John Kerry pointedly met with Afghan businesswomen at the US embassy in Kabul, fielding questions about security. Given the brutal…

The Case for Gender Equality

The longer countries and societies work to deny women their rights, the more it will cost them economically, according to a new report issued today by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The implications are that those countries that systematically keep their women barefoot, ignorant and pregnant risk being dramatically outstripped by those that…

Bleak Afghan humanitarian outlook for 2013

Afghanistan's population, battered by four decades of almost ceaseless war, faces continuing violence, a worsening humanitarian situation and donor fatigue in 2013, aid agencies say. "The worsening conflict trends over the last five years indicate that civilians will continue to suffer because of armed violence and that the humanitarian situation will deteriorate," says the new…

No Lone Wolves in Cyberspace

While politicians in the West debate whether, following the death of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda is "decimated" or not, the terrorist organization has successfully applied a tactic that makes prevention against attacks more difficult. Lone-wolf terrorism is the fastest growing form of this new kind of terrorism. A lone wolf is an individual or…

Afghan Refugees Face a Humanitarian Crisis

By the end of December, an estimated 1.7 million Afghan refugees, many of whom have never even seen their homeland, are due to lose their refugee status in Pakistan and are being ordered to return to their war-torn, poverty-stricken and blasted country. Afghan refugees in Pakistan make up the second largest refugee community in the…