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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»

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Hearts, minds and dollars: condolence payments in the drone strike age

In February, during his confirmation process, CIA director John Brennan offered an unusually straightforward explanation:  “Where possible, we also work with local governments to gather facts, and, if appropriate, provide condolence payments to families of those killed.”... Read more»

Commentary

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is right: Torture useless in finding Bin Laden

As “Zero Dark Thirty” rightly implies, the systematic use of enhanced interrogation techniques came at a steep moral cost while producing little to no valuable information in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.... Read more»1

Think again

Murdoch, Murdoch, everywhere

Rupert Murdoch is the most powerful man in global media, which makes him a strong contender for the most powerful individual in the world. There is no good way to measure this, but the mere panoply of interests and the devil-may-care attitude his employees take toward professional ethics vastly magnifies his power and influence beyond merely giving people the news in his typical biased fashion.... Read more»

Think again

Why were pundits all in on 'All In'?

If you click on the Amazon.com page for the unfortunately titled Paula Broadwell/Vernon Loeb tome “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” you’ll see an interesting disjunction. Overall, the book receives an average of fewer stars from its readers than the four that adorned the general’s uniform.... Read more»1

Comic:

General correspondence

The penis mightier than the sword. If you’ll pardon the pun.... Read more»

Analysis

The lessons of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

Staff Sgt Robert Bales’ odyssey began just over 10 years ago when he joined the military in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks... Read more»

U.S.-backed Afghan police accused of abusing civilians

A disturbing report into human rights abuses by the U.S. backed Afghan police force — including rape and murder — has raised serious questions about the exit plan of the West.... Read more»

Petraeus sworn in as CIA director

David Petraeus, newly retired from the U.S. Army, was sworn in as director of the CIA in a ceremony led by Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday at the White House.... Read more»

America's longest war should end

Sometimes it helps to look back to something like the Vietnam War so we can get a clearer picture of how to move ahead, and America desperately needs to take a hard look at the truth about the war in Afghanistan.... Read more»

Factcheck: Cheney ad 'hasty' with quotes

Liz Cheney’s group quotes U.S. military leaders out of context to attack President Obama’s Afghanistan policy.... Read more»1

Petraeus 'should be ashamed of himself,' writes British envoy

As President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama make their way east, having cemented the “essential relationship” between Whitehall and the White House during their glamorous visit to London, a former diplomat is doing his best to expose the fissures between the two countries’ policies in Afghanistan.... Read more»

Bin Laden's death could be game-changer in Afghan war

Now that bin Laden is gone, will the Pashtun tribal leaders in Afghanistan and their followers lose heart and be more willing to come over to the government side as some, such as Gen. John Campbell, have suggested?... Read more»

Analysis

Are Special Forces and targeted killings the answer?

Still riding the wave of euphoria over the Abbottabad strike that took down America’s most-wanted enemy, some in the U.S. policy establishment are advocating for an increased use of Special Forces and the strategic operations they conduct.... Read more»

Pakistan army knew about operation against bin Laden

Pakistani officials say that the Pakistani army had full knowledge of the U.S. raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden and that it played a larger role in the operation than previously acknowledged.... Read more»

Is the U.S. now ready to pursue peace in Afghanistan?

Mired in many internal problems, Afghanistan sees few changes in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death.... Read more»

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