Connections to a Bygone War
On Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I was in the small town of Alexandria in western Minnesota to attend a ceremony dedicating a Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in honor of Max J. Beilke, who grew up in the area. Max Beilke was drafted during the Korean War and stayed in the army as a career.
Atrocities and Their Reverberations
A still-unpublished but partly leaked report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides a disturbing additional perspective on the horrible violence that afflicted eastern Congo and adjoining areas of central Africa beginning in the early 1990s.
Football and War, American Style
Sports journalist Frank Deford, in his most recent commentary on NPR, sees a possible root of Americans' fondness for football--and especially for the more violent aspects of the game--in the frustrations associated with some of America's more recent wars.
A Rethink of Afghanistan
An event Wednesday at the New America Foundation provided the formal launch of a report titled A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S.
A Tool Against the Taliban Rusts
The New York Times reports today that a program to entice low-level Taliban to abandon the insurgency has stalled amid bickering and funding problems. This news suggests the following three observations.
Afghanistan Adopts American Banking Practices
The ongoing story of problems at Kabul Bank should not seem foreign to Americans still trying to recover from a deep recession triggered by excesses in the financial sector.
Allies and Independent Thinking
Small parties and political independents often function as sand thrown into the political machinery of parliamentary systems. Whatever seats they win in elections to national legislatures make it that much harder for the major parties that must take the lead in forming a government to put together a stable majority. The result is often deadlock and the need for new elections.
The China Strategy in the West Bank
Today's New York Times front page has an article by Ethan Bronner, titled "Outline of State Begins to Emerge in the West Bank," describing how many of the features of ordinary life, from traffic tickets to functioning movie theaters, are apparent in that portion of the occupied Palestinian
Who's Supposed to be Winning the Hearts and Minds?
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is unhappy about how the United States is fighting the war in his country--the war intended to shore up his regime. He has complained with increasing frequency about the deleterious tactical effects of U.S. and NATO military operations and specifically about collateral civilian casualties.