How America Won the War in Afghanistan

The Second World War ruined our concept of conflict. It led us to believe that conflicts are wars, and wars consist of two sides fighting, with a singular monolithic outcome that one side wins. Everyone comes home. There is a parade. A sailor kisses a woman. Boom. War won. This is a myth of epic proportions. Conflict is not war, though wars are a part of conflict. Although wars are...

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The War on Terror Drove Iraq Into Iran’s Orbit

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 centuries. The framework implemented an aggressive foreign policy against Iraq, Iran and North Korea, singled out as the "axis of...

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The War on Terror Was Never Turkey’s Fight

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 moment. It was on this day that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was founded. One...

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

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 terrorism on American soil, claiming nearly 3,000 lives. Scroll down to read more in this 360° series The attacks not only...

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The Hazara Minority’s Precarious Existence in Afghanistan

On the evening of May 8, a car bomb exploded in front of a high school in a majority Hazara neighborhood of west Kabul, Afghanistan. The blast killed more than 85 civilians and injured at least 150 others, almost all of them schoolgirls aged between 13 and 18. Images shared on social media showed bloodied backpacks, crushed shoes and torn notebooks strewn beside the burning carcass of the vehicle used...

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Is the Long War Finally Ending?

In October 1944, with the end of World War II in sight, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin passed a note back and forth to each other at a conference in Moscow. On the piece of paper, Churchill had assigned percentages to several Eastern European countries. Stalin amended the numbers and Churchill agreed. The deal remained secret for nearly a decade. The percentages on the piece of paper referred to the amount of...

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No Clear Vision to End Violence in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been engulfed in bloodshed and confusion for decades. The deal between the United States and the Taliban signed on February 29 in Doha, Qatar, has added more tension to the conflict by creating competition among anti-government militants. Groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) compete with the Taliban for political success and influence by perpetrating more violence. At the same time, they look to each other’s success as...

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