Barack Obama reportedly takes pride in his skill as a card player. Poker is the prime game of politics and politicians. The president's record suggests that he is something less than its master. There is only one group of players whom he beats regularly -- the "liberals" whose gambling instincts have been honed in endless games of rainy-day Scrabble.
The official "end" to the Afghan war, while it doesn't mean the end of combat operations, does offer us a moment of disturbing reflection on what has been accomplished these last 13 years, during the first of our wars allegedly to eradicate, but in fact to promote, terror.
What is it about our contemporary political role that makes so much of what we attempt to do abroad ultimately self-defeating?
We cannot ignore the realities of habitat loss for wildlife, the extinction crisis, and the impact climate change has on nature; but equally as important, we should not forget the good news and the victories through conservation action.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.
We live within the same borders as these unlucky people, perhaps even a few kilometers away from their hell on earth, but as we cross over to the better half of our country, we easily forget the turmoil our personalized war on terror has caused to millions.
"End of U.S. combat means that fewer American lives will be lost in Afghanistan and less American money spent, but Afghans will continue to die, even more now because they no longer have the support of foreign troops."
Apparently it wasn't Napoleon who said an army travels on its stomach. But surely the necessity of providing appropriate gear, food, water and other basics to troops was clear after his troops, freezing and dropping from starvation, staggered in retreat after the disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia. Of the 680,000 men Bonaparte took with him, fewer than 100,000 returned. Perhaps nothing that dramatic is about to happen in Afghanistan. But the warning signs of impending trouble are clear: the $57 billion U.S. investment in Afghanistan's security forces is at risk because the Afghans cannot supply, or resupply their troops, can't prevent their weapons and vehicles from breaking down and can't fix them when they do.
We have no shortage of people in the Asia Society network with ideas and suggestions about what the next year will bring. The other night we hosted a panel on "Asia 2015," a whirlwind tour of the continent's near future.
In today's topsy-turvy environment, all bets are off. Rather than focus on critical upcoming legislative elections and a major conference to help attract investments to Egypt's struggling economy, TV channels seem sidelined by matters that raise eyebrows and questions given their timing.
The school attack is a moment of reckoning for the Pakistani government, and more so for the Pakistani army, which is a major player in Pakistani politics.
Soldiers, officers and police that fought against each other two decades earlier are now working together in UN and NATO operations to keep or deliver peace.
On Dec. 10, I was sentenced me to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people abroad, will be an opportunity to speak with people trapped by prisons and impoverishment here in the U.S.
NATO's Afghanistan withdrawal renders a generation of Af-Pak jihadists jobless. Many will turn their attention to India.
As international troops leave Afghan security in the hands of their domestic counterparts, ISAF will let its "clear, hold, build" counter-insurgency mandate fade.
How can it be that the US, which so prides itself on its traditions of respect for the rule of law and human rights, simply turn a blind eye on this deep stain on its record without the resonance of hypocrisy? How can it revive its moral credibility?