David Rohde

Dooming the Syria talks before they begin

By David Rohde
January 22, 2014

The United States won a short-term diplomatic victory over Iran this week. Under intense pressure from American officials, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdrew an invitation for Iranian officials to attend the Syria peace conference.

From Kiev to Kabul, the promise of prosperity

By David Rohde
December 5, 2013

In Kiev, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the streets to demand the government join the European Union, in the hopes it will spur economic growth. In Kabul, Afghan leaders overwhelmingly voted to have American troops remain for another decade, in the hopes they will maintain a “war and aid economy” that has brought them unprecedented riches.

How covert drone strikes turn murderers into martyrs

By David Rohde
November 6, 2013

Five days after an American drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Pakistani politicians are accusing the United States of “murder.” And a militant leader responsible for attacks that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Pakistani civilians is being viewed as a victim.

For Obama, a contradiction too many

By David Rohde
September 6, 2013

President Barack Obama will have to deliver one of the finest speeches of his presidency next Tuesday if he hopes to win Congressional support for a strike against Syria. Out of nowhere, the Syria vote has emerged as one of the defining moments of Obama’s second term.

From Afghanistan to Syria, an anemic U.S. civilian effort

By David Rohde
May 2, 2013

Rear Admiral Gregory Smith (L), director of the Multi-National Force – Iraq’s Communications Division, and Denise Herbol, deputy director of USAID – Iraq, in Baghdad January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Wathiq Khuzaie/Pool

Why intervening in Mali was the right thing to do

By David Rohde
January 17, 2013

The question from a colleague – one whose work I admire – could have come from anyone in the United States.

Little America: An Afghan town, an American dream and the folly of for-profit war

By David Rohde
June 1, 2012

American officials inspect a field in Helmand, 1960s

Eight years ago, a 72-year-old American aid worker named Charles Grader told me a seemingly fantastical story. In a bleak stretch of Afghan desert that resembled the surface of Mars, several dozen families from states like Montana, Wisconsin and California had lived in suburban tract homes with backyard barbecues. For 30 years during the Cold War, the settlement served as the headquarters of a massive American project designed to wean Afghans from Soviet influence.

An American intervention gone partly right

By David Rohde
April 27, 2012

SARAJEVO – Seventeen years and $17 billion later, Bosnia is at peace today, but it is stillborn.

The way out of the Afghan abyss

By David Rohde
March 16, 2012

To a growing number of Americans, Afghanistan is a festering pit where the United States has no vital interests. To a growing number of Afghans, the United States is a self-absorbed and feckless power that is playing games in their country.

Talk to the Taliban

By David Rohde
January 12, 2012

WASHINGTON — As American officials scramble to contain the fallout from an appalling video showing Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, news that the Obama administration is carrying out secret negotiations with the Taliban has barely registered on the American political landscape. The lack of interest in the talks – and public outrage at the video – reflects how little Americans apparently care about the conflict, despite its staggering human and fiscal cost.