"Where after all do human rights begin?" asked Eleanor Roosevelt many years ago. "In small places, close to home, so small you cannot see them on a map."
It makes sense for Clinton to be so prominent now. Even when people believed in the economic recovery, President Barack Obama's extensive early foreign travel had quickly diminishing returns in PR terms.
Operation Enduring Freedom -- the dreadfully misnamed ten-year US occupation of Afghanistan -- has turned into Operation Enduring Misery.
"Khudahafiz" is the South Asian Muslim way of saying "goodbye." It is time for America to say, "Khudahafiz Afghanistan," and end our miserable decade-long war in that country.
Like dumping toxic chemicals into the ocean in hopes of breaking up an oil spill, the international community's solutions to the problems of Afghanistan have made the problem worse.
Critical analysis is impossible unless there is a semblance of logic -- however primitive, odd or changeable it may be. That is why we are stymied and frustrated in trying to make sense of what has been happening recently in Afghanistan -- the world's biggest, open-air puzzle palace.
For the vast majority of the Afghan population -- the displaced, the deprived, and the fearful -- today is just one more day. For them, Afghanistan's problems did not begin with the American invasion, or the arrival of Osama bin Laden or the Taliban.
The notion that cutting a deal with the Pakistani-supported Taliban will achieve any semblance of stability is a dangerous and delusional one.
Who hasn't received one of those "Nigerian" letters offering you, in florid prose, millions of potential dollars? But who knew that the highest officials in Washington have been receiving them as well -- and from our war zones rather than Africa.
While individual night raids are unquestionably effective at getting insurgent leaders, the larger costs of night raids may outweigh the benefits.
Going beyond a surface-level reading one finds a number of eerie similarities between Afghanistan and Vietnam in terms of military, political and strategic blunders committed by the U.S.
"One of the things that people don't appreciate is how dramatically far Afghanistan has come in the last ten years, in terms of the capacity for governance."
The Afghanistan Embassy in Norway apparently gave a frank character assessment of the Minister for Counter Narcotics when it posted his biography online.
The United States and Afghanistan disagree on several points regarding a limited troop presence past 2014, starting with how binding the agreement should be.
The question now is; who should control all of Southern Afghanistan's tribal structure, and ultimately attempt to sooth tensions over what will soon become the full political formation and structure.
Negotiated settlement could well be the most important part of the 2012 reelection campaign. Getting negotiations underway and reporting genuine results could deliver an election-decider to Obama, because it could mean an earlier withdrawal.