from Expert Zone:

The crisis in Iraq and an Afghanistan prognosis

June 30, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has rampaged through western Iraq. A few thousand kilometres away in Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is withdrawing, with Americans contemplating less than 10,000 troops on ground.

from The Great Debate:

Post Iraq, U.S. must rely on covert action

June 13, 2014

devine -- afghan-militia-1024x736

Covert actions are now crucial to U.S. foreign policy. After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington should rely more on CIA-driven covert operations and less on military force in the world’s hotspots.

from The Great Debate:

Bergdahl reveals the impossible choices faced by hostages’ families

June 6, 2014

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl waits in a pick-up truck before he is freed at the Afghan border

The furor surrounding the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl this week has exposed the murky world -- and impossible choices -- of the families of Americans taken captive by militants.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

VA scandal is no mark against big government

June 3, 2014

U.S. military veterans listen in the audience during a House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Phoenix VA Health Care System wait list, on Capitol Hill in Washington

For some, the veterans hospitals scandal is a human tragedy pure and simple. Those who loyally served their nation in uniform, putting their lives on the line, were shunned when they sought medical help.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Putin learning what U.S. didn’t

April 23, 2014

After America’s ignominious defeat and hurried departure from Vietnam in 1973 -- when the world’s richest and mightiest nation was humbled by the stolid determination of ill-equipped, ideologically inspired peasants -- it was generally assumed the United States would not wage war again until the lessons of the Viet Cong victory were taken to heart.

from David Rohde:

Analysis: Afghanistan’s surprises

April 9, 2014

Election officials hold a ballot paper during the vote counting process at a polling station in Herat Province, April 5, 2014. REUTERS/OMAR SOBHANI

Election officials hold a ballot paper during the vote counting process at a polling station in Herat Province, April 5, 2014.
REUTERS/OMAR SOBHANI

from Photographers' Blog:

Afghanistan – ten years of coverage

April 4, 2014

Kabul, Afghanistan

By Tim Wimborne

It's now widely accepted that the latest war in Afghanistan has not gone well. As an intermittent visitor here over the past 10 years, several differences are visible to my western eyes, but I keep realising how much there still is in common with the Kabul of a decade ago.

from The Great Debate:

Afghan elections redefine U.S. role

April 4, 2014

On Saturday, Afghans will go to the polls to elect a new president, marking a critical turning point in Afghanistan's history and our role in the country.

from The Great Debate:

Afghanistan votes on its future

April 3, 2014

The coverage on the impending Afghan presidential elections has been filled with death and chaos -- the tragic shooting at the Serena hotel where an international election monitor was killed, the shocking attack on the Afghan Election Commission's headquarters, the killing of a provincial council candidate and the news that several international monitoring groups are pulling out.

from Photographers' Blog:

Hip, young and in Kabul

March 27, 2014

Kabul, Afghanistan
By Morteza Nikoubazl

Kabul is a bustling city, full of people who want to see their country become less violent and more stable.