The US has spent some $110 billion on Afghanistan's reconstruction. More than half ($60 billion) has gone to build the Afghan security forces, including the Afghan National Army and the various police forces.
It was the summer of 2002. The Bush administration's top officials knew that they were going into Iraq in a big way. They were then in planning mode, but waiting until fall to launch their full-throttle campaign to persuade Congress and the American people to back them.
War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you.
"Max" is a family film, and it is all about the dog. This movie follows in a long line of dog movies such as "Lassie," "A Dog of Flanders," "Old Yeller," "Rin Tin Tin" and many, many more. When you place the camera squarely on a four footed hairy creature who barks then you know chances are good you have yourself a hit.
Originally a consultant, Doyle was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as a forensic accountant for the Army. After returning to the U.S., he saw the same men and women who had given their lives for their country struggling to survive.
The velocity of events and the fragmentation of the media culture are such that it can be difficult to keep up with how we're doing in various national security crises around the world. Here's the latest state of play on some of the most pressing.
If the United States would tone down its policy in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world, radical Islamists would not go away -- they have always been there -- but they would be far less likely to attack U.S. targets -- as the example of Lebanon indicates.
The Afghan security forces are no longer bound to limit their night time raids and to not use heavy weapons in fighting the Taliban insurgency.
In April 2003, with Baghdad occupied by American troops, the top officials of the Bush administration were already dreaming of building bases in Iraq that would be garrisoned more or less in perpetuity. They were sometimes referred to by the Pentagon as "enduring camps."
I still remember stepping off the plane into a crowded airport after a tour in Iraq. It felt strange walking around after just leaving a war zone. Everyone seemed oblivious to that world and the fact that I just left it.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
The once mostly provincial Taliban have been on the move in recent weeks, trotting at least part of the globe from their bases in Pakistan and Qatar to China, Dubai, Tehran and even Norway.
At the level of opinion leaders whose views trickle through the social media, Afghans' debates on terrorism reveal a strong ethnic prejudice. Vocal non-Pashtun opinion leaders view terrorism through an ethnic lens.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, about a young entrepreneur who supported her community under the Taliban.
Contrary to the principle of reconciliation, during the last decade the government's efforts have not resembled negotiations, but an offer of surrender and the Taliban declared that they will not give up, surrender, and accept imprisonment - rather, they will continue their resistance.
It turns out that it's not only drones which are being overused in our still far too secret "long wars" around the globe. A New York Times investigation revealed over the weekend that our most famous special forces unit is being used on an amazingly ad hoc basis, with no oversight to speak of.