iOS app Android app

Douglas A. Wissing
GET UPDATES FROM Douglas A. Wissing
Douglas A. Wissing is an award-winning independent journalist, who has reported widely on the war in Afghanistan. His most recent book, Funding the Enemy: How US Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban, details a toxic network that connects distracted American officials, US private corporations, corrupt Afghan kleptocrats and the Taliban. "When I was in eastern Afghanistan, soldiers began telling me, 'We are funding both sides of this war. We're funding our own enemy.' After interviewing hundreds of people and reviewing a mountain of government documents, white papers and media reports, I concluded the soldiers were right."

Wissing has contributed to media outlets that include The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Independent on Sunday (UK), Foreign Policy, Asia Times, GlobalPost,, Forbes Life, Condé Nast Details, National Geographic Traveler, ARTnews, Saveur and Gray’s Sporting Life, BBC, VOA News, and NPR networks.

He is the author of six books, including Pioneer in Tibet: The Life and Perils of Dr. Albert Shelton (Palgrave/Macmillan), which National Book Award-winner Peter Matthiessen termed “fascinating and well-written.” In his review, Priyanka Motparthy of The New York Times Review of Books wrote that Wissing’s “insights on American missionary life and Shelton’s daring make for a lively narrative.” In recognition of Wissing’s research in Tibet, the Royal Geographical Society named him a Fellow.

Entries by Douglas A. Wissing

Genie Uncorked: Social Media in the UAE

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 8:14 AM

Like a capricious genie, social media is vexing United Arab Emirate leaders eager to uncork its powers. With the Arab world's highest social networks penetration rates, the formerly quiescent Gulf monarchies are now abuzz with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media. But the free-spirited social media genie...

Read Post

Registering in Afghanistan

(1) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Reporting in Afghanistan is complicated. Of course, there's the challenge of operating in an insurgency-wracked land, where every decision has to be weighed for risk. Is that a secure location to meet? Is that person trustworthy? Is that boy hurrying through the bazaar with the pressure cooker in his wheelbarrow...

Read Post

General Malaise

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 3:30 PM

When I was embedded with U.S. troops in insurgency-wracked eastern Afghanistan, a smart tactical commander told me the American people, cognizant of war's fog and friction, don't expect the military to be efficient. "But," he said emphatically, "they do expect us to be effective."

I thought about...

Read Post

The Passing of Farmer Holbrooke

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2010 | 9:24 PM

The death of Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has left a giant vacuum in Afghanistan policy circles -- particularly in regards to the agricultural development policy that Holbrooke championed as an essential counterinsurgency tool. He often termed agriculture "our number-one 'non-security' priority in Afghanistan" --...

Read Post

The Taliban Catch-and-Release Scheme

(5) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 12:24 PM

Reuters' recent report that Afghan security forces are systematically freeing captured high-level Taliban leaders in exchange for financial and political payoffs was familiar to me -- it's a story I started hearing over a year ago when I was reporting from Afghanistan.

Emma Graham-Harrison's article discusses a...

Read Post