Tales from the Trail

McChrystal gets to keep his 4 stars

June 30, 2010

mcchrystalGeneral Stanley McChrystal will go out with all the benefits of a four-star general, even though he hasn’t been in the position long enough to retire with that rank.

Obama delivers checkmate by moving generals

June 23, 2010

President Barack Obama managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat.

In a surprise move, he chose superstar General David Petraeus to replace General Stanley McChrystal, whose team had badmouthed just about every top civilian adviser to Obama on Afghanistan in a Rolling Stone magazine article. AFGHANISTAN/

General headed to the woodshed, will he get the axe?

June 22, 2010

The sound of palms slapping foreheads could be heard all over Washington, the physical exclamation of ”what were they thinking?”

Frankly, Mr. Karzai, the U.S. does give a damn

May 12, 2010

When two heads of state stand side-by-side in public, it’s all about reading into the words they choose and the body language.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

With Karzai off to Washington, Taliban talks back in focus

May 8, 2010

marjah"The effort required to bring about a compromise was indistinguishable from the requirements of victory—as the administration in which I served had to learn from bitter experience."

New poll shows boost for Afghan war strategy

April 22, 2010

A new national poll by Quinnipiac University shows that the Obama administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan is gaining some favor among voters.

Senator to USAID: Stop your high-flying ways

April 20, 2010

An influential senator warned the official U.S. overseas aid agency: come down to earth with the impoverished people or see your funding cut.

U.S. officials seek to shelve Karzai tensions

April 16, 2010

Tensions, what tensions?

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew arrived back from Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday, touting the performance of several ministers in Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Holbrooke hits the airwaves in new push

April 15, 2010

When President Barack Obama snuck into Afghanistan unannounced last month, a notable omission on Air Force One was his special representative for the region, veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke. OBAMA-AFGHANISTAN

from Photographers' Blog:

Destination: Afghanistan

March 31, 2010

It all started out with a phone call from Reuters News Pictures Washington Editor In Charge Jim Bourg on Thursday night informing me there was a secret Presidential trip leaving on Saturday to an undisclosed destination which Reuters would like me to travel with the president on. I was told that this was very secretive and that I was not to mention it to anyone and that no details were available yet. I had been with President Obama on his secret trip to Baghdad last year, so it was pretty easy to figure out that the destination this time might be Afghanistan, a trip which had been highly anticipated since Obama became president 15 months ago. I was to expect to be contacted directly by the White House for a meeting to discuss the details. But I was to "open" the White House as the first Reuters photographer arriving there on Friday morning at 7am, my scheduled shift, and to go about my day as planned acting as if everything was normal. Nothing could be further from the truth.