Kill List

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he New York Times recently published an extensive story about the Obama administration’s secret “Kill List” that is used for selecting targets for strikes by unmanned drones. It has been clear for some time now that President Obama is making far more use of such drones that President Bush did, even as Obama systematically winds down [...]

This Does Not End Well: Escaping Afghanistan

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John Peeler: An agonizing series of missteps by U.S. troops in Afghanistan show us how precarious is our hold there, reinforcing the idea that we just don’t belong there, that we don’t respect the Afghani people.

The American Taliban

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Jim Rhodes: Not since 9-11 has the United States witnessed such callous demigods hellbent on destroying individual liberty as currently being showcased in the Republican primaries.

How Presidential War Power Is Made

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Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.

What’s the War in Afghanistan About Again?

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William Blum: It appears that no one seems to remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.

Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported

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Ivan Eland: Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire.

The Surge to Withdrawal

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Vijay Prashad: The United States will exit Afghanistan in the next few years. None of its promises of health and well-being, democracy and women’s rights will be realized.

Kabul Attack Continues Taliban Control of War Narrative

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Gareth Porter: This week’s Taliban attacks on multiple targets in Kabul, including the U.S. Embassy and U.S.-NATO headquarters, are the latest and most spectacular of a long series of operations that have given the insurgents the upper hand in establishing the narrative of the war as perceived by the Afghan population.

Why Pakistani Military Demands a Veto on Drone Strikes

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Gareth Porter: The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military’s attitude toward the drone war. Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.

Despite Surge, Taliban Attacks, U.S. Casualties Soared

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Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.

“Victory” Is the Verbal Equivalent of a Yeti

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Tom Engelhardt: If you haven’t joined the all-volunteer military, any of our seventeen intelligence outfits, the Pentagon, the weapons companies and hire-a-gun corporations associated with it, or some other part of the National Security Complex, America’s distant wars go on largely without you (at least until the bills come due).

Obama Leaves Door Open to Long-Term U.S. Afghan Combat

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Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.

U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

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Gareth Porter: Senior Obama administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Afghanistan: A Moment of Opportunity for Obama

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Tom Hayden: The targeted killing of Osama bin Laden is powerful evidence that terrorist threats, both real and hypothetical, can be more effectively suppressed by special forces operations than by deploying hundreds of thousands of American soldiers on the ground.

Bin Laden Capture; Right Wing Nightmare

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Paul Hogarth: One of the Navy Seals who carried out the mission was a so-called “anchor baby” – the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants, who the American Taliban wants to strip of U.S. citizenship rights.