Tales from the Trail

Hillary’s mango diplomacy in Pakistan

July 19, 2010

Hillary Clinton has lots to worry about in Pakistan, but she has found one thing she can wholeheartedly embrace: Pakistani mangos.

Holbrooke: No “dysfunction” on U.S. Afghan Team

July 1, 2010

 Barack Obama’s team running the Afghan war has its issues — but is it dysfunctional? No, sir, according to Richard Holbrooke.

General Kayani steals the spotlight at Pakistani embassy party

March 24, 2010

PAKISTAN-ZARDARI/

Pakistan’s foreign minister heads his country’s delegation to Washington this week for high-level talks, but there was no mistaking who was the star at a reception at the Pakistani Embassy on Tuesday night: Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

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.

Is Holbrooke’s “bulldozer” style working?

March 12, 2010

Dubbed the “bulldozer” for his tough guy tactics in Balkan negotiations, U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has been making waves in South Asia recently.

US diplomat in Peshawar awarded heroism prize

December 7, 2009

Lynne Tracy was headed to work as principal officer at the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, in August 2008 when gunmen wielding AK-47 rifles ambushed her car.

The First Draft: Gripes and Goblins

October 30, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton griping about Pakistan while in Pakistan. PAKISTAN USA/

She says it was “hard to believe” that no one in Pakistan’s government knew where al Qaeda leaders were hiding. She talked about her tough talk in a series of morning television interviews, and said on CNN “trust is a two-way street.”

The First Draft: Obama Decision Time On Afghanistan?

October 28, 2009

AFGHANISTAN/The latest violence in Afghanistan may raise the drumbeat in Washington for a decision from President Barack Obama on whether to send more U.S. forces.

Mia Farrow’s son working for Holbrooke on Pakistan

October 23, 2009

The sons of actors and presidents have been in the news a lot lately.

Take Mia Farrow’s 21-year-old son Ronan, who was all over the blogosphere today for his role as liaison between the office of star “Afpak” diplomat Richard Holbrooke and nongovernmental groups working in Pakistan.

from Global News Journal:

Afghanistan’s protracted election sours the mood

By Sean Maguire
October 15, 2009

An atmosphere of stale defensiveness has sunk over Kabul. The mood has been lowered by the protracted saga of the Afghan election count, almost two months on from the first round August 20 vote. It's a drama veering towards farce more often than post-modern play, as we wait endlessly for a result, that like Godot, does not want to come.