The Great Debate

Fighting for democracy in South Asia

By Nisha Biswal
November 15, 2013

For the first time in post-colonial history, all of the countries of South Asia are democracies.

Let Pakistan’s Taliban talks fail without us

By Daniel Markey
October 22, 2013

Adding to an unenviable list of challenges that already includes earthquakes, sectarian violence and an economy teetering near collapse, Pakistan’s leaders are attempting to open a new round of high-stakes peace negotiations with homegrown insurgents, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

from David Rohde:

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.

A fragile peace with Taliban if school attacks escalate

By Gordon Brown
June 25, 2013

In the week in which America opened the door for negotiations with the Taliban, three bloody massacres of school children — shot down simply because they wanted to go to school — raise grave questions about what kind of peace the Taliban offer.

The robots of war

By David Axe
June 20, 2013

Air Force airman performs tests on a Talon robot in Afghanistan in 2011. Photo from Air Force.

Civil wars and Syria: lessons from history

By Michael O'Hanlon and Sean Zeigler
May 22, 2013

A man at a site recently hit by what activists said was a Scud missile in Aleppo’s Ard al-Hamra neighborhood, February 23, 2013. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman

Drone coalition: Key to U.S. security

By David Axe
April 1, 2013

The Pentagon’s biggest, most high-tech spy drone aircraft — one of the hottest items on the international arms market — is the key to a burgeoning robotic alliance among the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Assessing the resiliency of Hillary Clinton

January 14, 2013

As Hillary Rodham Clinton finished her last few weeks on the job, after a month of convalescence, how can we assess the secretary of state’s contributions?

New Afghan war over U.S. troop levels

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
January 10, 2013

The stubborn war in Afghanistan, which has spanned a decade and cost more than 2,000 American lives, has now faded to one key question: How many U.S. troops will remain after 2014?

Obama faces only hard choices in Mideast

By Aaron David Miller
December 6, 2012

The conventional wisdom in Washington these days is that a newly empowered president, freed from the political constraints of reelection, will have more discretion, drive and determination to take on the Middle East’s most intractable problems.