As Rome (or at least Kobani) burns and faces the very real threat of a Srebrenica-style massacre, it is time for the US to stop fiddling and entertain the idea of putting small groups of US troops into the fray to empower our Kurdish peshmerga, Free Syrian Army and Iraqi government allies.
As Afghans put their long election saga behind them and evaluate their new two-headed government, the US hopes to end the long war, and draw down to about 10,000 troops. How has the democratization effort fared?
With the conflicting directions in which she may go, Malala Yousafzai represents a microcosm of the problems of the Muslim umma. We may hope that her Islam, and not that of the supposed Islamic State, will prevail.
After Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize, international papers and websites observed a strange phenomenon in Pakistan: Some people were not happy that Malala had won the Nobel. But they do not represent Pakistan.
While it is important to be well-read and keep up with the news, it can be equally important to make sure the news stories mean something to you personally.
Malala's speech is spirited, personable and accessible even as she talks about how she hoped to be a doctor but now, thinking more strategically, she wants to be a politician so she can stay on target and advance the rights of girls.
In the midst of my joy that Malala Yousafzai today was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I'm also shocked and enraged at the response from Tariq Khattack, editor of the Pakistan Observer.
A marauding misogynist Taliban in the style of Islamic State is not a fantasy, and the Security Council could envision such an outcome with a resolution that would surely garner a wide consensus of support.
As the United States ramps up its 'no boots on the ground' war against jihadists in Iraq and Syria, the stream of threats emanating from the region appear to grow ever wider and deeper.
In 2014, I find myself on a new journey at Team Rubicon, still influenced by 9/11. I find myself surrounded by men and women that embrace the notions of courage, resilience, citizenship and commitment. These men and women did not stop serving when they took off the uniform.
By continuing with a timetable that is externally driven, regardless of internal conditions, and with an economic squeeze from aid cuts looming, NATO is sending the wrong signals to the Afghan people and to the Taliban, and imperiling security.
Where ever you work: be it in an office, a factory, in sales, or even a library, we all were the new person at some point in our career. Weathering out a tough situation is never a comfortable proposition, but it is part of the human condition.
Changing social norms is hard work, but changing age-old attitudes and behaviors in poor, remote areas is particularly difficult. While we are inspired by Malala and her dad, many in rural Pakistan still find the idea of empowering girls to be dangerous and repugnant.
Girls enabled to grow up to reach their full potential have the power to change the world for the better. Investing in girls and building their protective assets is one of the best investments we can make for a safer, more sustainable and peaceful world.
Forget about the biology of it for second (that was mom's job), my dad never let on that he thought there was a difference in when I could speak, how I could learn, what choices I should have or what I should be allowed to achieve and contribute with my life. My dad never questioned that I would grow up to be his equal, to be the equal of my brothers. To my dad, my value as an equal to boys and men was a basic truth.
When she was 15 years old, Malala Yousafzai dared to speak out against the Taliban. Her father offers a window into a world where girls aren't allowed to leave the house, let alone speak their minds -- and he makes a plea for change.