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Stories by Jean MacKenzie

Afghan poppy crop hits all-time high despite $7.6B U.S. campaign

The new Afghan president is facing a big drug problem as the country's opium poppy crop hits an all-time high.... Read more»0

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Analysis

5 questions we should be asking about this Syria operation

Before we plunge wholeheartedly into a new round of conflict, there are a few things we have to get straight. These five questions should do, for starters.... Read more»0

Analysis

How scared should Americans be of the Islamic State?

The United States is grappling with the risk level of the extremist militants retaliating as Obama inserts military might into Iraq.... Read more»0

Seven insane problems outlined in new Afghan reconstruction report

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction published its quarterly report for Congress Wednesday, and this line just about sums it up: “poor planning, shoddy construction, mechanical failures, and inadequate oversight.”... Read more»0

Analysis

Maybe the world should just let Iraq split apart

If the experts are right, then what is happening in Iraq now seems to be the worst of both worlds: a Sunni-Shiite civil war and a de facto partition of the country.... Read more»0

4 questions we should be asking about the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap

Truthers, birthers, and Kennedy assassination geeks, move over: The sad case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is providing rich fodder for conspiracy theorists everywhere.... Read more»0

Analysis

So much for an 'Obama Doctrine'

Analysis: Everybody was expecting a major foreign policy revamp. But the president broke no new ground and struck a defensive pose in his West Point address.... Read more»0

Afghanistan Newspeak: 10 ways the U.S. skews the narrative

As the clock ticks down to the promised withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. military is trying to figure out how to market the idea that the international intervention has actually accomplished its core mission — bringing peace and stability to a nation that has known little of either for the past 35 years. The solution: a little Newspeak.... Read more»0

Analysis

How Russia could strangle the U.S. space program

Think Russia has no way to put pressure on the United States? Think again. If you use a cellphone, have a GPS system in your car, or get cash from ATMs, you should be worried.... Read more»0

He's short, but is he crazy? A brief psychoanalysis of Vladimir Putin

From Jon Stewart, to Sarah Palin to Brookings, inquiring minds want to know what's in the head of Russia's president.... Read more»0

Analysis

Ukraine: What the hell just happened?

The images have been burned into the world’s consciousness: a huge square filled with protesters; black smoke billowing over a beautiful and historical city. Bodies are rushed by on stretchers, angry voices are raised. A man with his feet on fire dances madly around before someone shoves him to the ground to smother the flames. Whatever else the recent events in Ukraine may ultimately bring in their wake, they certainly were telegenic.... Read more»0

Analysis

The 12 (rocky) months of U.S. foreign policy

It’s been quite a year for U.S. foreign policy, with plenty of undertakings both naughty and nice.... Read more»0

The truth about America’s Mandela policy

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, international leaders, including US President Barack Obama, gathered in Johannesburg to honor the legacy of the South African freedom fighter and reconciliation icon. Obama eulogized Mandela as “the last great liberator of the 20th century.” But Washington has not always praised South Africa’s first black president in this way.... Read more»0

Analysis

Long shadow from 9/11 to Syria

On yet another dark anniversary of the day that changed the world, the United States finds itself once again in crisis. It’s increasingly apparent that some elements of Syrian civil war have their roots in America’s response to those September attacks.... Read more»0

Analysis

Syria’s agony, Washington’s quandary

It's all but official: The United States and its allies have accepted that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people and they are prepared to respond. The big question now is how? And, even more important, to what end?... Read more»0

Analysis

The rise of the American antihero

Edward Snowden’s decision to come forward as the über-leaker behind the latest government abuse scandal has made him into a modern antihero. He and Bradley Manning are shattering traditional concepts of patriotism, loyalty, even legality. A TV series can’t be far behind.... Read more»0

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