America’s Post-9/11 Lessons and Lamentations

September 20, 2021

Earlier this month, Americans and people around the world commemorated a day that still resonates with disbelief, astonishment and profound sorrow. We don’t know how the world will look at the events of 9/11 in 100 years. But, after 20 years, the heaviness persists and the portents remain still...

Chaos Makes a Comeback in Southern Yemen

September 16, 2021

The six-year conflict in Yemen currently sees a stalemate in Mareb and mounting losses by pro-government forces elsewhere. This has led to the resurgence of chaos in the war-torn country, which threatens stability across liberated areas of the south. Houthi rebels based in Sanaa, the Yemeni...

For 20 Years in Afghanistan, Ignorance Was Bliss

September 16, 2021

The war in Afghanistan is over, but the commentary on what it was all about and where it leaves us is just beginning. The events that have unfolded over the past few weeks have predictably generated a plethora of credible and less credible theses that continue to appear in every serious...

General Petraeus and the Question of Torture

September 15, 2021

The end of the US engagement in Afghanistan has produced a moment of reckoning for the nation. Everything to do with that war will inevitably be reviewed by commentators. Its origins in the 9/11 attacks of 2001 are already the focus of everyone’s attention. So is its crucial role as the intended...

Biden’s Misjudgments in Afghanistan

September 15, 2021

The Wall Street Journal reports that an Afghan translator, who helped rescue a stranded group of US senators when their helicopter was forced down in a remote part of Afghanistan in early 2008, is himself now stranded. The senatorial group consisted of Joe Biden (then-chairman of the Senate...

India Must Back Afghans Fighting the Taliban

September 14, 2021

Kabul has fallen again to the Taliban. Surprisingly, so has the Panjshir Valley where the legendary Ahmad Shah Massoud defied both the Soviets and the Taliban. Even more surprisingly, India has stayed silent so far. It was in 1996 that the Taliban took over Kabul the last time around. Following...

Explosive Reporting From The New York Times

September 13, 2021

No serious reader of the news reflecting on how the knowledge we acquire of today’s world is disseminated through the media could deny that The New York Times is not just one of the world’s great newspapers, but also a cultural institution in its own right. That means it is skilled at playing...

The War on Terror Drove Iraq Into Iran’s Orbit

September 13, 2021

After al-Qaeda targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, then-US President George W. Bush declared his (in)famous doctrine of the global war on terror, which will continue to have a great effect on the Middle East and the world for the coming decades, if not...

9/11 and the American Collective Unconscious

September 10, 2021

A little more than a month ago, the most newsworthy controversy surrounding the imminent and highly symbolic 20th anniversary of 9/11 concerned the message by families of the victims that Joe Biden would not be welcome at the planned commemoration. They reproached the US president for failing to...

Will the US Wake Up From Its Post-9/11 Nightmare?

September 10, 2021

Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA — the Transportation Security Administration — to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those...

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