Counter insurgency has been at the heart of the "war on terror." It has failed -- in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The main reasons are readily identifiable. Some are generic; others specific to time and place.
The mistake of becoming involved in a war without first making sure our assumptions are correct is being repeated today with the civil war in Ukraine.
Afghanistan has once again been labelled one of the worst places in the world to be a mother. According to UNICEF, a woman dies every two hours due to complications during pregnancy in Afghanistan.
Now, nearing the end of the fourth month of the slow-rolling wreck of this "democratic" Afghan presidential election, we Afghan women have lost our ability to speak. This is not what we women have worked for or voted for or dreamed of, and if we could raise our voices once again, we would not call this "democracy."
The US has unnecessarily overthrown in regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya that have led to internal civil wars and the spread armed Islamism into surrounding areas. Unbelievably, some members of the foreign policy elite want the U.S. to get more heavily involved in other civil wars.
Afghanistan has a rich culinary tradition, but soybeans have not been a part of it. American agricultural experts who consider soybeans a superfood find this dismaying, and so over the past four years, they have invested tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to try to change the way Afghans eat.
Recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan are just two examples of a broader failure in foreign policy: the popular neoconservative notion that America must project its hegemony on the rest of the world in an effort to promote American interests, even if those values must be projected by military force.
The repetition of Washington's call to arms manifests as a form of black comedy: it is funny until you realize its horror.
Playing out before us is the Wagner situation redux. In anticipation of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of The Death of Klinghoffer.
These are two current challenges facing the nation and at first glance seem totally unrelated. But in fact they are two aspects of the core challenge for the 21st century: promoting U.S. prosperity.
When governments, businesses and communities invest in women -- and when they work to eliminate inequalities -- we're all less likely to be plagued by poverty.
It's true: we don't have a rough-rider President à la Theodore Roosevelt. It's also true that we do have a President who does special operations (Osama bin Laden), unlike his hapless predecessor, Jimmy Carter (Desert One).
Women for Afghan Women is fighting an uphill battle. Last year, violence against Afghan women increased 28%. But WAW's work is critical, and betters not only the safety and health of women in both the States and Afghanistan, but assists them - one at a time - often in seemingly small but very important ways.
Bowe Bergdahl is a subject of considerable controversy. An American soldier who wandered off from his base in Afghanistan and got captured by the Taliban, after five years American officials secured his release by trading him for five Taliban captives being held in Guantanamo.
The havoc wreaked by drug gangs in Central America could be mitigated to a great degree by legalizing marijuana as well, which would alleviate the current border crisis of desperate children seeking refuge in the U.S.
As a country, for our veterans, our service members, and their families, we have an obligation to do something about this. A family's love is often the best medicine, and in difficult times, I believe that our military families deserve the option of staying together.