The current power-sharing government among factions in Afghanistan will likely be as successful the one in Iraq during the Nouri al-Maliki period: not very.
As Republican pressure grows on a beleaguered president to become even more militarily assertive on a range of global issues from the Ukraine to the Levant, we all need to ask ourselves a few questions.
The administration appears to have lost its collective mind. The president has added ground forces to the battle in Iraq and the military has suggested introducing thousands more. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel might be lucky having been left at the curb.
Today we think of the 1970s as the heyday of the conspiracy thriller, but the reality is that the conspiracy genre flourished a decade earlier, before most of the disillusionment. And it did so in large part at the encouragement of none other than the President of the United States.
Does the situation of present-day Muslim society, marked by crisis, tensions, foreign interventions and political despotism, foster the reformist democratic Islam, or does it promote its violent and theocratic rivals?
It is with enormous sorrow that I watched Hagel's tenure ended at the half-way mark by a President who seems to have forgotten the pledge he made to Americans when he was elected: to finally craft a sane foreign policy, devoid of hubris, and over-reliance on military solutions.
One of the coolest things about travel is wandering into a place that time seems to have truly forgotten. These days, locations like that are few and far between -- but they still exist. One of the most special to me is Bamiyan, Afghanistan. I went there earlier this year for the Afghan Ski Challenge.
Afghanistan has changed significantly since the fall of the Taliban, and the ways in which Afghans view themselves and their country continue to evolve.
So here are a few of my favorite features of life in Afghanistan that are not commonly known by Americans. I hope some of this inspires you to consider the story of life there beyond the war:
Let's play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there's another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere that, between 2001 and 2003, launched two major wars in the Greater Middle East.
News agencies reported Saturday morning that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year.
Sending the military to war should only be done in the most dire cases of national security. Military restraint was the founders' vision, but we have drifted far from it into a militaristic society in constant war.
Personal experience tells me today's 2.7 million Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are poised to become tomorrow's next big thing.
Behind the forgettable headline of "yet another" attack in Afghanistan is a more interesting reality: southeastern Pashtun tribes love sports and have been quietly making a public space for sporting events in areas where the Taliban still routinely fight for control with government forces.
When you travel, sometimes it's not so much about the place you travel to but the people you meet. And sometimes the people you meet can be a little... out there.
We have been engaged in Afghanistan longer than any conflict in American history. Over 13 years. And, on Veterans Day, when we honor those who have fought for our country, I was curious to know if Americans could locate the place our service members have been the longest.