When I first visited Afghanistan in 2002, the country was boldly opening a new chapter in its history. Ashraf Ghani was Minister of Finance, the Taliban had been toppled and the initial pillars of a democratic government were being put in place.
Last week I went to a new restaurant. On my way home, I stopped and got some fresh French baked goods. Later the same day, I got an email about a brand new international standard salon that I should check out.
As part of Words After War's April book club selection, Elliot answers a few questions from Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, the author of the recently released Ashley's War.
It is appropriate to remember that we, the US, supported individuals like Osama Bin Laden and others in the waning years of the cold war. The US and a number of other countries were outraged when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on the eve of Christmas in 1979.
Clearly the strike that killed the two hostages on January 15th was not a random drone attack on an innocent Pashtun tribesman's house. The CIA had come to the correct conclusion via spies, eavesdropping and or surveillance that Taliban terrorists were holed up in the compound and launched a "signature strike" on it.
The Obama administration's decision to negotiate with Tehran triggered near hysteria among U.S. politicians and pundits who advocate perpetual war in the Middle East.
Before Nepal and Baltimore seized headlines, news that a CIA drone strike mistakenly killed an innocent American hostage in January momentarily energized our meager debate on drones. It is time for us, as Americans, to exercise our responsibility as citizens and take control of the debate.
This pattern of fighting in Afghanistan is nothing new, but what is noteworthy is that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will this year face the enemy without the full support of the U.S. and its NATO and other coalition forces.
To me, the song always was and always will be about the Vietnam War. If you know it -- and you will the instant you hear the first notes and the shivering tambourine -- you know it as "The End."
This week we mark the 40th anniversary of those final days of the war. We will once again surely see the searing images of terrified refugees, desperate evacuations, and final defeat. But even that grim tale offers a lesson to those who will someday memorialize our present round of disastrous wars.
If America ends up at war, it almost certainly will be on behalf of one ally or another. Washington collects allies like most people collect Facebook "friends." The vast majority of U.S. allies are security liabilities, tripwires for conflict and war. Alliances should be based on interest, not charity.
The Middle East tends to be the first answer that comes to mind when we think of where the U.S. sends its young men and women who enlist. However by the end of 2014, only one middle eastern country made the cut for top five countries with active U.S. military personnel.
More than 15,000 women and girls have been helped through the organization's efforts, and more importantly, they have become a voice for women who otherwise have been silenced or marginalized due to pressure from or stigmas within their own community.
In all the years of my second life in the land of my birth, Afghanistan, I have never felt so desperate, disillusioned and downright upset as I am feeling now.
Perhaps nothing epitomizes the state of affairs in the Republican Party today more than the estrangement of James Baker from the Republican establishment. Nothing because, for what seems like decades, James Baker was the Republican establishment.
This stretch of 1,300 miles of embattled and poorly maintained highway has so far cost more than $3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild, along with many hundreds of lives in bombings, ambushes and preventable traffic fatalities.