China’s Policy of Illusory Security Is Destined to Fail in Afghanistan

October 19, 2021

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has been transformed into a paranoid state fanatically motivated by ensuring security at any and all cost. This obsession stems from the desire to maintain the physical security of the Chinese mainland, to safeguard Beijing’s investments abroad...

Surprise, the Havana Syndrome Is Back in the News

September 27, 2021

Last week in this column we highlighted the fact that the mysterious phenomenon known as the Havana syndrome has become a regular feature of respectable media in the US. The variable set of reported symptoms, ranging from noises and headaches to alleged brain damage, has confirmed its status as a...

America’s Afghanistan Fiasco: The Buck Stops With Biden

September 23, 2021

On August 31, President Joe Biden formally drew to a close the war in Afghanistan, touting “the extraordinary success” of the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of fighting. Despite the incorrect “assumption — that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time...

Did 9/11 Change Everything?

September 10, 2021

Twenty years ago, the United States sustained the first substantial attacks on the mainland since the War of 1812. It was a collective shock to all Americans who believed their country to be impregnable. The Cold War had produced the existential dread of a nuclear attack, but that always lurked in...

The Aftershocks of the Saudi and American Debacle in Afghanistan

September 09, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have a complex relationship. Their ties date back to the 19th century when Afghanistan became the first Muslim country to recognize the second Saudi state of 1824 to 1891. In 1930, Ibn Saud recognized King Nadir Shah’s rule in Afghanistan, in 1932, the two...

The War on Terror Was Never Turkey’s Fight

September 09, 2021

Do you know where you were on August 14, 2001? Perhaps not, since it isn't a defining day in world history in quite the same way as September 11, 2001, or 9/11, as it’s become known. Yet in the Turkish political landscape, August 14, 2001, can now be seen as something of a watershed...

Is Operation Enduring Freedom Doomed to Endure Forever?

September 08, 2021

Those were heady days in the US stock market. I would wake up by 5 am and watch CNBC before the stock market opened for trading at 6:30 am Pacific time. It was no different on the morning of September 11, 2001. Little did I know that catastrophic things were about to happen that would change the...

How 9/11 and the War on Terror Shaped the World

September 08, 2021

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four planes and launched suicide attacks on iconic symbols of America, first striking the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and then the Pentagon. It would be the deadliest act of...

Afghans Have Been Left at the Mercy of the Ruthless Taliban

August 27, 2021

On August 15, Taliban militants entered the outskirts of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was the worst thing that could have happened to former Afghan employees of foreign institutions, women and civil rights defenders, religious and ethnic minorities, local journalists and even ordinary...

For Saudi Arabia, Iran Looms, Israel Beckons and the Taliban Cause Goosebumps

August 26, 2021

Prince Khalid bin Salman may not have planned it that way, but the timing of his trip to Moscow last week and message to Washington resounded loud and clear. By not postponing the visit, the Saudi deputy defense minister signaled that he was trying to hedge his kingdom’s bets by signing a...

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