The Great Debate

Why Pakistan is friends with everyone – and no one

By Paula Newberg
May 26, 2015
India's PM Modi shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Sharif as Nepal's PM Koirala and Afghanistan's President Ghani watch during the closing session of 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (front L) shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (front C) as Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala (back 2nd L) and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani (front R) look on at the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Kathmandu, November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Niranjan Shrestha/Pool

Why the U.S. officially ‘believes’ Pakistan’s bin Laden story

By Elizabeth A. Cobbs
May 20, 2015
U.S. President Obama shakes hands with Pakistan's PM Sharif at the White House in Washington

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Hostage deaths prove it’s time to rein in ‘signature’ drone strikes

By David Rohde
April 28, 2015
American hostage Warren Weinstein is shown in this image captured from an undated video courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group

American hostage Warren Weinstein is shown in this image captured from an undated video courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group. Reuters/SITE/As-Sahab Media released by SITE Intelligence Group/Handout via Reuters

A new crisis is brewing between two nuclear-armed neighbors

By Tom Rogan
April 14, 2015
A supporter of Shiv Sena holds Pakistan's national flag and a portrait of Lakhvi during a protest in New Delhi

A supporter of Shiv Sena, a Hindu hardline group, holds Pakistan’s national flag and a portrait of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi during a protest against Lakhvi’s release, in New Delhi, April 11, 2015. Lakhvi’s group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, is believed to have been behind an attach that killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons straight to the enemy

By David Axe
March 25, 2015
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Prediction: Obama will decide to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016

December 22, 2014

U.S. Marines prepare to board a plane at the end of operations for U.S. Marines and British combat troops in Helmand

In 2015, I predict that President Barack Obama will rethink his plan to have all operational U.S. combat forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

Is there a ‘right’ path for the U.S. in Syria?

By Anja Manuel
January 21, 2014

Key parties to the conflict in Syria are meeting in Switzerland on Wednesday. The participants have been downplaying expectations that the “Geneva II” peace conference — which will bring together for the first time representatives from the Assad government and various rebel groups along with major international players — will resolve the conflict, or even bring about a ceasefire.

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.

Risky business: Talking to the Taliban

By Paula Newberg
November 8, 2013

If one event crystallizes Pakistan’s helplessness in confronting its political future, it is the recent assassination-by-American-drone of Hakimullah Mehsud, erstwhile leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

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).