Plan B in Afghanistan: Why a De Facto Partition Is the Least Bad Option

Summary: There are no easy or cost-free ways to escape the current quagmire in Afghanistan. Although it has problems, a de facto partition of Afghanistan, in which Washington pursues nation building in the north and counterterrorism in the south, offers an acceptable fallback.

Current U.S. policy toward Afghanistan Continue reading

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A Paradigm Shift on the Chessboard of the Afghan “Great Game”

Ever since Pakistan began lobbying against Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai’s efforts to build a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S.,urging him to look to Pakistan instead — and its Chinese ally — for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the Afghan economy, it was perceived to be Pakistan calling the shots Continue reading

The New Colonialism

What we are observing in Libya is the rebirth of colonialism.  Only this time it is not individual European governments competing for empires and resources. The new colonialism operates under the cover of “the world community,” which means NATO and those countries that cooperate with it. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Continue reading

Afghanistan: The “Great Game” of Deceit

The Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, at the beginning of the 20th century aptly described Afghanistan as “a piece on the chessboard on which is being played out the game for domination of the world.” At that time, the Great Game was being played between Czarist Russia and Imperialist Britain. At the end of the 20th century, Continue reading

The Democrat ‘Sultan’ of Kazakhstan

“Today, without dramatizing the situation in those years, I openly declare you that in the beginning of the 1990’s, we were on the edge of a cliff.” This sentence was uttered by Nursultan Nazarbayev ten years after the declaration of independence of Kazakhstan. Continue reading

Kabul Palace: A Theatrically-Corrupt Fortress

The old Kabul Royal Palace is also given the name “Arg,” the Turkish word for citadel built by King Abdul Rahman (a.k.a The Iron Amir) in 1883 for, as he said in his autobiography, “I, as King of the county, had to face the difficulty of having no house to live in… Until the time I built a new palace for myself, I lived in tents Continue reading

Experts warn of risks for Turkey in mediating with Taliban

The recent push by some international actors in Afghanistan for Turkey to help mediate a possible reconciliation process with the Taliban has prompted experts to warn about the risks of undertaking such a mission. Continue reading

The Middle East’s Turko-Persian future

The center of gravity in the Middle East has shifted dramatically in the past few decades from the Arab heartland comprising Egypt and the Fertile Crescent to what was once considered the non-Arab periphery — Turkey and Iran. Continue reading

The Turkish Role in Negotiations with Iran

The P-5+1 talks with Iran will resume Jan. 21-22. For those not tuned into the obscure jargon of the diplomatic world, these are the talks between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia), plus Germany — hence, P-5+1. These six countries will be negotiating with one country, Iran. The meetings will take place in Istanbul Continue reading

The Frailty of the Afghan War

As C.S. Lewis says, “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”

The Obama administration has found “fragile” but “reversible” progress in its one year Continue reading

Where did the Swedes come from?

There are numerous geographical studies, archaeological findings, historical accounts and written evidences which confirm much of Scandinavian history.  Most of the written history begins after 600 AD.  The little written evidence of Scandinavian history from 100 BC to about 600 AD comes from contemporary writers of history, like Tacitus and Jordanes. Continue reading

Afghan Election: Conflict between Democracy and Terrorism in Ghazni

The Afghanistan Election Commission announced final results for 33 of Afghanistan’s provinces plus the results of 10 special seats for Kuchi Pashtuns in the lower house. However, in a blatant swipe at democracy, the final tally from the province of Ghazni is still pending and the election commission has said Continue reading

Afghanistan: Last Tango in Lisbon

NATO’s meeting to build political consensus across the alliance for the post-2011 phase of “gradually” handing over security responsibilities to the Afghan forces will be on the table in Lisbon this week. According to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “The aim is for Afghan forces to be in the lead, countrywide, of security operations by the end of 2014” Continue reading

Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science

Stefan Arvidsson is assistant professor at the University of Halmstad and a researcher at the University of Lund. Sonia Wichmann received a Ph.D. from the Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley.
Critically examining the discourse of Indo-European scholarship over the past two hundred years, Aryan Idols demonstrates how the interconnected concepts of “Indo-European” and “Aryan” as ethnic categories have been shaped by, and used for, various ideologies. Continue reading

Pushing partition in Afghanistan

Is retreating from the south a solution to the stalemate?

Robert Blackwill, a former foreign policy advisor to both presidents Bush, came to London today to deliver his arguments for a de facto partition ofAfghanistan. He made his case in Washington and in the Financial Timesearlier in the summer, and appeared in London Continue reading

Indigenous Participation is Essential to Af-Pak Study Group

There has recently been a call for the establishment of an Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group (APSG) that will be modeled off the Iraq Study Group (ISG) of the Baker-Hamilton Commission. The project is driven by the realization that this regional dilemma cannot be resolved militarily – it requires a political solution. Why? Because the coalition’s death toll is approaching 2,000 Continue reading

Pentagon’s New Global Military Partner: Sweden

By Rick Rozoff

The longest war in U.S. history and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s first armed conflict outside Europe, as well as its first ground war, is nearing the beginning of its tenth year. Continue reading

Messes of Karzai in Afghanistan

Via his decisions the president of Afghanistan clearly gives this message:

“I can do whatever I wish to do. I do not have any other care or concern; I don’t care about international law, International Court of Justice, Untied Nations, local values or the opinions and rights of the local people… Continue reading

A de facto partition for Afghanistan

The Obama administration’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan seems headed for failure. Given the alternatives, de facto partition of Afghanistan is the best policy option available to the United States and its allies.

After the administration’s December Continue reading

Afghanistan: Is the Mineral Deposit Saga a Reality or Myth?

By Khalil Nouri

It is obvious that there is no military solution to the struggle in Afghanistan; therefore a political solution could be on the horizon. So far that too has proven to be a failing effort when the Taliban, who were supposedly partaking in the recent consultative Loya-Jirgah Continue reading

Don’t Call That Warlord a Warlord

In Afghanistan, the term is no longer useful — though it should be.

Afghanistan has been at war for much of the past 32 years — hence the proliferation of warlords. Everyone from international pundits to local governors uses the term to discredit certain political factions or insult the “bad guys. Continue reading

To Rebuild Navoi’s Tomb for 6000 USD is an insult

The latest announcement by the Afghan Government to rebuild the tomb of Amir Alisher Navoiy, an Uzbek politician, mystic, linguist and poet, who was born and lived in Herat western Afghanistan, has angered many inside and outside the country.

The campaigners against the move of the Afghan government Continue reading

U.S. official resigns over Afghanistan war

Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting.

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan. Continue reading