Since Tamim Ansary spent the last year or so writing a book about the history of Afghanistan called, Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan, I thought I'd pick his big brain about a subject I want to understand, one which will, I hope, make me seem smarter at parties.
Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 in part because of his pledge to end the war in Iraq and shift the Pentagon's attention to Afghanistan. He has won a second term in part by promising to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan - as quickly and as securely as possible.
Solving the gender equality problem in education will take far more than dollars being funneled directly toward getting girls into the classroom. It will take a cracking down on militants who believe that girls should not be in the classroom at all.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai's order to his forces to wrest control of Bagram prison from the U.S. highlights Afghans' growing testiness. It comes just as talks begin on new security arrangements to govern a continued U.S. military presence.
It is understandable that the economic times are tough. But to safeguard the security and peace of the world and protect human values, the West, mainly the United States, needs to understand the profound consequences of mishandling Afghanistan's future.
The ongoing Af-Pak war has only inflamed Pashtun nationalism, exacerbating longstanding tensions with Islamabad and Kabul, while American military movements create new enmities daily.
Today, one month after the terrible shooting of Malala Yousafzai, I met with the president of Pakistan to discuss Malala's dream of education for all.
Before America leaves Afghanistan, Washington should pledge at least $1 billion to establish secular schools for boys and girls in Afghanistan.
Fortunately, Malala is starting on the road to recovery and Malala Day, one month after Malala was left for dead by Taliban assassins, is an opportunity for people everywhere to come together to support the cause that Malala so valiantly represents: a girl's right to education.
Like many Facebook members, I have quite a few friends that I either don't know at all or have some vague, long-forgotten connection to.
Today, because of Zubeida's courage to use her voice, report on other women's voices, and argue for hiring policies that would allow women to occupy all positions in the newsroom, life is different for women in Pakistan.
Extremists' hardened hearts may never change, but the real battle is for the majorities in both this conflict region and in the West. I believe that we must not let the Malala moment pass.
It's a governance challenge that we don't test U.S. presidential candidates by asking about global health and education issues and what our leadership is going to do to solve these most serious and complex challenges.
If we are complicit in these children's fame, and their compromised safety, by watching and reaching about their lives, we must be willing to change the underlying social problems that they represent.
I propose that for the women who make it through all the challenges of primary education in countries where they are currently at a severe disadvantage, that we, as global citizens, work to apply the tuition-free and online model to their higher and secondary education.
As Muslim societies became more patriarchal after the first century of Islam, many women have been air-brushed out of the master narrative of Islamic history, leaving us with the impression that the Islamic tradition was shaped mainly by men.