from FaithWorld:

How will Afghan women fare if Kabul and the Taliban reconcile?

June 13, 2011

(Schoolgirls listen to a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a ceremony marking the start of the school year at Amani High School in Kabul March 23, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

from Bernd Debusmann:

U.S. nation-building in the wrong place?

By Bernd Debusmann
June 10, 2011

America's costly efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq came under intense scrutiny this month in critical reports and a gloomy Senate hearing that prompted a memorable assertion. "If there is any nation in the world that really needs nation-building right now, it is the United States."

from FaithWorld:

Women brave social barriers to join Afghan police force

June 9, 2011

(Afghan policewomen search women at a polling station in Herat, western Afghanistan September 18, 2010/Raheb Homavandi)

from FaithWorld:

In Kabul’s only synagogue, Afghan merchants open up shop

June 1, 2011

(An Afghan woman clad in burqa and her daughter walks past a restaurant built inside part of the only synagogue building in Kabul, June 1, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

from India Insight:

India no angel in dangerous neighbourhood

By Reuters Staff
May 26, 2011

By Annie Banerji

Perhaps the finger-pointing at neighbouring Pakistan and the talk of Afghan militancy destabilising the region that New Delhi so often rolls out should be reconsidered. The neighbourhood may well be dangerous, but India is no model pupil.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Taliban talks – a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace

May 20, 2011

We have known for months that the United States has begun direct talks with representatives of the Taliban. And as I wrote in this story, the death of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid on May 2 should make it easier for the Taliban to break with al Qaeda, a fundamental requirement for including them in any eventual political settlement in Afghanistan. But lest anyone should think these talks, combined with bin Laden's death, would somehow produce an early end to the Afghan war,  it is important to remember that engaging with the Taliban is only a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a political settlement.

from Expert Zone:

After bin Laden: Do not retreat from Afghanistan

By Lisa Curtis
May 18, 2011

(The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not represent those of Reuters)

from Bernd Debusmann:

Pakistan and questions over foreign aid

By Bernd Debusmann
May 13, 2011

In the flurry of statements on the killing of Osama bin Laden, a remark from Pakistan's ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, spoke volumes about how U.S. foreign aid tends to be perceived by its recipients. It's not enough.

from Gregg Easterbrook:

With bin Laden dead, why doesn’t the U.S. leave Afghanistan?

May 11, 2011

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq citing two justifications: to depose Saddam Hussein and to destroy Iraq’s banned weapons program. Within a year, Hussein and his accomplices were imprisoned, and it had been discovered there was no Iraqi banned weapons program. Having achieved its goals, why didn’t the United States leave? Seven years later, this question haunts the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

from FaithWorld:

Bin Laden ‘eased’ into sea in contentious burial

May 3, 2011

(Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, from which Osama bin Laden was buried at sea somewhere in the north Arabian Sea/U.S. Navy)