Pakistan: Now or Never?

Americans vote for Afghan troop surge, but Afghans differ

February 26, 2009

An overwhelming majority of Americans support President Barack Obama’s decision to deploy an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, according to a Gallup poll this week. It said 65 percent approved the measure, with support among Republicans hitting 75 percent, making it one of the rare policy decisions where a president gets greater backing from those who identify with an opposing political party than his own.

The curious tale of America’s Predators in Pakistan

February 21, 2009

America’s deadly Predator unmanned planes won’t go away from the skies above Pakistan’s troubled northwest, and the controversy over whether these aircraft operate from Pakistani soil only gets more intense.

Afghanistan’s military challenge

February 13, 2009

Herschel Smith at the Captain’s Journal has picked up on a presentation about the increasing sophistication of Taliban fighting, which he thinks ”should be considered the most important thing to come out of Afghanistan in the past two years.”  It’s very focused on the approach he says the U.S. military needs to adopt in response, but worth a read even by those not interested in army tactics.

Holbrooke in Pakistan: a sea change?

February 12, 2009

With Richard Holbrooke very much keeping his own counsel about his maiden visit to Pakistan, it’s been hard to assess quite how much change is to be expected from President Barack Obama’s new special envoy.

Afghanistan: the Great Name Game

February 10, 2009

Afghanistan is beginning to accumulate cliches. If it’s not “Obama’s Vietnam”, then it’s the “graveyard of empires”.  (The British press, never one to be bamboozled by the big picture, says it’s the end of bully beef for the troops.)

What does Pakistan want from U.S. envoy Holbrooke ?

January 30, 2009

Former Pakistan ambassador to London and Washington Maleeha
Lodhi has given a taste of what Richard Holbrooke can expect when
he makes his maiden visit to Islamabad next week in his new role as
President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and
Afghanistan.

The scramble for Central Asia

January 26, 2009

Central Asia is much in demand these days, whether as a transit route for U.S. and NATO supplies to Afghanistan as an alternative to Pakistan or for its rich resources, including oil and gas.

Brinkmanship in South Asia

December 14, 2008

Pakistan said two Indian Air Force planes violated Pakistani airspace on Saturday, one along the Line of Control in  Kashmir and the other near Lahore  in Pakistan proper. Pakistani officials said Pakistani jets on patrol chased the Indians away and that the Indian Air Force, upon being contacted later, told them it had happened accidentally.

America’s expanding war in Pakistan

November 23, 2008

U.S. military operations crossed another threshold in Pakistan this week when a Predator ‘drone’ aircraft fired missiles into Bannu area in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), away from the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas where it has conducted raids with impunity.