In thinking about the trajectory of President Barack Obama’s approach to the Afghanistan War, from the initial March 2009 strategy review to the December 2009 troop surge to last night’s address, it occurred to me that, when it comes to the politics of the war, Afghanistan has gone from being the “Good War” to being what is now the “Subprime War.” The administration’s initial March 2009 review was the equivalent of a “nothing down” mortgage. As I noted at the time, it threaded a political needle, articulating a strategy — a counterinsurgency approach to counterterrorism — that allowed everyone to […]
Tax and customs fees collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority are supposed to be used to pay wages. However, according to this report by the Russian government-owned news network Russia Today, Israel has refused to hand over the cash on several occasions, saying it could be used to fund terrorist attacks.
The CIA’s plan for a secret Persian Gulf base to launch drone attacks on suspected terrorists in Yemen has escalated the debate over just how far the United States can go with such attacks before violating accepted principles of international law. “The whole use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen raises the question of whether the United States is really in a war with a loosely organized terrorist organization whose members seem to pop up in diverse locations,” says Geoffrey Corn, a former military lawyer and World Politics Review contributor who teaches at South Texas College of Law. “People like […]
As the United States debates just how much more effort it wants to put into the Afghanistan-Pakistan sinkhole, evidence mounts of the need to pursue a strategic pivot back toward the Middle East, where the Arab Spring is increasingly threatened by a Persian winter of revolutionary discontent. For some time now, Iran has been showing signs of mounting internal divisions between competing hardline factions led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But it has also become more desperate about asserting its alleged leadership of the region’s ongoing wave of uprisings, including a far more active […]