Foreign Policy

Why the War Machine Keeps on Running

Villefranche, France.

The United States has always meddled in other people’s affairs. For those readers who think this statement is an exaggeration, I urge them to peruse the chronology of interventions compiled by the Congressional Research Service. This historical predilection for meddling, however, grew enormously in depth and …

Bringing the U.S. Sailors Home from Libya

President Obama and his national-security team have said will be no “U.S. boots on the ground” inside Libya. Yet 13 U.S. Navy commandos remain interred on Libyan soil. There’s a growing push to bring them home after more than 200 years on the shores of Tripoli. It’s a strange tale: the 13, led by Navy Master Commandant Richard …

Afghanistan 0-for-3 In Halting Human Trafficking

The fate of women in Afghanistan has routinely been cited as a bonus of the U.S. presence there. It has reduced the oppression of women and expanded educational opportunities for girls. Things will only get worse for women if the U.S. pulls out too fast, the conventional wisdom suggests. But tough to see how things could get much …

Droning On To a New Way of War

So the U.S. government — if not the military, then the CIA — is now using drones to kill suspected terrorists in at least six different countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Congress — the entity charged with declaring war, according to the Constitution — has basically green-lighted only the attacks …

Pakistan: More Grim Reading…

…following up on Tuesday’s report of the internal threat extremists in Pakistan pose to Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. Here’s a decidedly measured but alarming study detailing the most likely group of terrorists to win the race to become a nuclear power.

The $5 Trillion War on Terror

Last week, the Pentagon told you the costs of the war on terror had eclipsed $1 trillion. Wednesday morning, a panel of academics experienced in war accounting says that’s only a down payment — and that its real, total cost is around $5 trillion.

Five trillion dollars: that’s $16,000 per American; $64,000 for a family of four.

Not Going Anywhere Soon…

Former USA Today military reporter Kirk Spitzer finds the recent uptick in chatter about U.S. forces leaving Afghanistan and Iraq just a little bit funny — because he now lives in Japan:

The wars are over. The occupations are done. It’s time to bring the troops home. But anyone who thinks US forces will depart Iraq or Afghanistan any

Deadly Infiltrators on Both Sides of the Durand Line

The historically-porous frontier dividing Afghanistan from Pakistan — all 1,600 miles (2,400 km.) of it — has long been easily crossed by Taliban fighters seeking to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, who then withdraw back into the relative safety of Pakistan. If that constant border crossing isn’t headache enough for local …

The Looming Afghan Civil War

Aryn Baker spells it out over on Global Spin:

If President Obama’s plan for withdrawal demonstrated the unusual feat of simultaneously pissing off both sides of the aisle in the US, he need not despair: in Afghanistan he most certainly drew applause from both the Taliban, and Karzai – who crowed in an interview with CNN on Sunday that

Five Questions on Ending the Afghan War

The always impertinent Tony Karon, over on our Global Spin blog, has some questions he wants President Obama to answer:

1. What will Obama tell the loved ones of Americans killed in Afghanistan in the next three years?

2. How does the U.S. persuade Afghan civilians or neighboring countries to do its bidding when it acknowledges its …

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