The tenth anniversary of the beginning of US military action in Afghanistan has provided an opportunity for looking back as well as for casting the gaze forward.
President Barack Obama announced last week the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and 23,000 more by the end of summer 2012, followed by further reductions leading to a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops by 2014.
Last Sunday, Islamic terrorists in Pakistan made good on their threats following Osama Bin Laden’s death by launching a well-coordinated and devastating attack on the Mehran naval airbase in Karachi, Pakistan. The attack left many dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989; the Marxist regime Moscow had been supporting fell in 1992. The Taliban seized control of Kabul — and most of Afghanistan — in 1996. Will a similar progression occur in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the U.S.
If serious disputes arose between Islamic revolutionary actors, America and others might be able to exploit them. But will such serious disputes arise?
Whatever popular support they may have enjoyed before coming to power or just afterward, radical Islamic revolutionaries have quickly proven themselves to be harsh authoritarian rulers wherever they have had the chance: in Iran (1979), in Sudan (1989), in most of Afghanistan (1996 - 2001), in par
Many fear (and many others hope) that American withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to a takeover of these two countries by radical Islamic forces, who will then be in a stronger position to spread to neighboring countries. The U.S.
Not so long ago — before I was sprayed by political skunks and had to excuse myself to avoid subjecting others to the stench of political vilification — I had occasion to spend some time thinking about intelligence, in the sense of the analysis of information relevant to statecraft.