The Great Debate UK

from Afghan Journal:

How many al Qaeda can you live with ?

September 16, 2010

(A box of  'Super Osama bin Laden" candles bought at a bazaar in Kandahar)

(A box of 'Super Osama bin Laden" candles bought at a bazaar in Kandahar)

A furious debate has raged for several months now whether it makes sense for the United States to throw tens of thousands of  soldiers at a handful of al Qaeda that remain in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre, nine years after launching the global war on terrorism.

from The Great Debate:

Torching U.S. power

By Guest Contributor
September 10, 2010

The following is guest post by Andrew Hammond, a director at ReputationInc, an international strategic communications firm, was formerly a special adviser to the Home Secretary in the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a geopolitics consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Afghan Journal:

Engaging the Afghan Taliban: a short history

March 17, 2010

(The niche that once held a giant Buddha, in Bamiyan. Picture by Omar Sobhani)

(The niche that once held a giant Buddha, in Bamiyan. Picture by Omar Sobhani)

For those pushing for high-level political negotiations with the Afghan Taliban to bring to an end to the eight-year war,  two U.S. scholars  in separate pieces are suggesting a walk through recent history  The United States has gone down the path of dialogue with the group before and suffered for it, believing against its own better judgement in the Taliban's promises until it ended up with the September 11, 2001 attacks, says  Michael Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute in this article in Commentary.

from Global News Journal:

Security: Never safer, or close to the civil liberties abyss?

February 15, 2010

cctvAs an air crash survivor I know how long jitters about safety can last. Eighteen years ago I crashed in an old Dakota in a remote corner of Africa, where such tragedies are sadly still not that rare.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2010: the year of living incrementally?

December 31, 2009

another barack obamaOne of the labels being attached to President Barack Obama is that he is a committed incrementalist - an insult or a compliment depending on which side of the political fence you sit, or indeed whether you believe it to be true.

from The Great Debate:

War and Peace, by Barack Obama

By Bernd Debusmann
December 3, 2009

Bernd Debusmann-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

from The Great Debate:

America’s perennial Vietnam syndrome

By Bernd Debusmann
November 13, 2009

cfcd208495d565ef66e7dff9f98764da.jpg --  Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Attack in Iran: What are the links to Pakistan?

October 18, 2009

A week after suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents attacked the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, a suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and 25 other people in Shi'ite Iran in one of the deadliest attacks in years on the country's most powerful military institution.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Attack in Rawalpindi: are Pakistan’s militant groups uniting?

October 10, 2009

An attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in the city of Rawalpindi has highlighted the country's vulnerability to a backlash from Islamist militants in the Pakistani Taliban as it prepares an offensive against their stronghold in South Waziristan. It follows a suicide bombing in Peshawar which prompted Interior Minister Rehman Malik to say that "all roads are leading to South Waziristan."

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Targeted killings inside Pakistan — are they working?

August 12, 2009

The death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a U.S. Predator strike last week - now considered a certainty by U.S. and Pakistani security officials - and subsequent reports of fighting among potential successors would seem to justify the strategy of taking out top insurgent leaders