Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Fall and rise

June 16, 2011

That’s not hot air emanating from the Capitol today, it’s the huge sigh of relief from the Democratic leadership that Congressman Anthony Weiner decided to resign.

Washington Extra – In pursuit

May 12, 2011

Osama bin Laden is gone, but plenty of questions remain about how the al Qaeda leader evaded an intense decade-long manhunt that ended in a dramatic U.S. raid on a house in Pakistan.

Looking to cash in on bin Laden bounty? Forget about it

May 9, 2011

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, it doesn’t look like anyone will be claiming the multimillion-dollar bounty the U.S. government put on his head.

“Minutes passed like days” for U.S. officials watching bin Laden op

May 2, 2011

It took almost a decade for the United States to find al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But when it came to the final act, time went into slow motion  for U.S. officials holding their breath and hoping the raid in Pakistan would go off without a hitch.

Washington Extra – Hunkered down

December 16, 2010

In all the words said over at the White House today about the Afghanistan review, one name was not mentioned — Osama bin Laden.

Washington Extra – Analyze This

October 27, 2010

A confusing labyrinth. That is how the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) described the American development effort in Afghanistan, in a damning report on how $17.7 billion in aid and reconstruction money was doled out to 7,000 contractors between 2007 and 2009 with little or no coordination.kabul

Iraqi political haggling a big headache for American spies

August 31, 2010

What keeps U.S. spies awake at night? Iran. Al Qaeda. The bickering of Iraqi politicians.

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.

Qat joins al Qaeda as Yemen threat

February 3, 2010

YEMEN-QAT/U.S. lawmakers, convening a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the threat posed by al Qaeda in Yemen, found themselves focused on another problem stalking the impoverished Arab country:  the mild drug qat, which permeates Yemeni society.