Afghanistan

ROOM FOR DEBATE: Should the U.S. Cut Off Aid to Pakistan?

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
May 10, 2011 |

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is a microcosm of international relations more broadly: talking about change has little correlation to actually achieving it.

Before the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Government Accountability Office released a study criticizing the lack of progress in making aid to Pakistan more effective. Far less has been spent than promised, and far too few inspectors have been assigned to oversee implementation of the projects.

Bin Laden's Great Mistake: What Osama Never Understood About the American Spirit

  • By
  • Romesh Ratnesar,
  • New America Foundation
May 10, 2011 |

When President Barack Obama announced on May 1 that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was among those who headed to the White House. The mood in Lafayette Square was joyous, ebullient, cathartic — though hardly the bacchanal of vengeful jingoism that some in the media have portrayed it to be, or an expression of "orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed" as David Sirota claimed on Salon.com.

Dear China: Help Us Fix Pakistan

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
May 9, 2011 |

The war of words is officially on. The killing of Osama bin Laden has shone a harsh light on the fraught U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Bin Laden's Poisonous Ideology Began to Wither on 9/11

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 9, 2011 |

Osama bin Laden long fancied himself something of a poet. His compositions tended to the morbid, and a poem written two years after 9/11 in which he contemplated the circumstances of his death was no exception. Bin Laden wrote, "Let my grave be an eagle's belly, its resting place in the sky's atmosphere amongst perched eagles."

Five Myths About Osama Bin Laden

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2011 |

Few individuals in recent history have exerted greater influence on world events than Osama bin Laden — and even fewer have elicited as much mythology. From the origins of the al-Qaeda terrorist network to the devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, to the manhunt that came to an end with such drama last Sunday, bin Laden's life has been shrouded in mysteries and misconceptions that will far outlive him.

1. The CIA created Osama bin Laden.

A Faltering Bargain with Pakistan

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
May 5, 2011 |

U.S.-Pakistan relations in recent years have been founded on a kind of bargain—an unstated and unstable bargain, but one that until this week seemed basically workable. The U.S. administration would turn a partially blind eye to the shelter given by Pakistan to the Afghan Taliban leadership; in return, Pakistan would genuinely cooperate against international terrorist plots directed at the American homeland. The location and death of Osama bin Laden in the vicinity of a Pakistan military academy calls that bargain, and the whole future of the American-Pakistani alliance, into question.

The Crossroads

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 4, 2011 |

The death of Osama bin Laden will raise the inevitable question: What are we still doing in Afghanistan? The answer, of course, is that the mission in Afghanistan is about something bigger and more ambitious than eliminating Al Qaeda's leaders—most of whom, in any event, are probably living in Pakistan, as bin Laden was when the United States finally tracked him down. No, the mission in Afghanistan isn't about killing Al Qaeda members.

Not Just a Figurehead

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
May 2, 2011 |

The killing of Osama Bin Laden is no mere act of symbolism. Besides finally disposing of the world's No. 1 terrorist target and idol, the deed opens up some opportunities for a broader breakthrough in the war against al-Qaida—and, potentially, for a settlement of the war in Afghanistan.

'Geronimo KIA'

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
May 3, 2011 |

That felt good, didn’t it?

There are plenty of reasons – both analytical and moral – to stifle euphoria at the news of Osama bin Laden’s killing. It is unlikely to make a material difference in the operational capabilities of the loose federation of terrorists operating under the al-Qaida banner. A death, no matter whose, is a dubious cause for celebration. Things could get dicey with Pakistan. Vengeance isn’t a healthy craving. Yadda yadda yadda.

And yet: that felt so good. Go with it, embrace the catharsis.

Bin Laden Killing Erases Democrats' Wimp Factor

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
May 3, 2011 |

The killing of Osama bin Laden has greater potential to change the Democratic Party's reputation on national security than any single event since Vietnam. It almost perfectly rewrites the narrative of Democratic weakness that Republicans have labored decades to build.

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