The bombing of an MSF hospital in Kunduz is a terrible tragedy. So why does it take so long for the US authorities to admit what has happened? Of course a full investigation is proper and will take time. But to issue mealy mouthed statements like these risks playing into the hands of Taliban propagandists … More Kunduz: Afghan lives matter
When I lived in Pakistan I was frequently (three times maybe) offered the real story about the location of Mullah Omar. He was hiding in plain sight in Karachi selling potatoes from a handcart, I was told by people very clearly convinced it was true and by some people who clearly thought it was toss. … More Mullah Omar’s potatoes
If it is true that Mullah Omar died in Pakistan in 2013 then there are some pretty serious consequences: What happens to peace talks? Things were ticking along in the right direction. The crucial issue was always what does Mullah Omar want? And there was a clear feeling that credible negotiators could do nothing without … More If Mullah Omar is dead, then what comes next?
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has done a good job of uncovering corruption in US spending. And his speech to Cornell University on Tuesday also does a solid job of cutting through the bluster of US press releases and claims made for more than $100 billion in aid spent in Afghanistan. It also raises broader … More Reconstruction in Afghanistan
So, if you want to know why the US does not consider the Taliban to be a terrorist organisation, Josh Earnest, White House spokesman, has an explanation. A long explanation. It’s an important point, one with all sorts of ramifications for how the US can and cannot engage with the Taliban. But it gets complicated … More “Tactics that are akin to terrorism”
Be wary of any piece of analysis on Afghanistan that cites conditions at L’Atmo as an example of things getting worse/better/staying the same. But there’s a decent piece in The Economist about where exactly the country stands at this crucial time in its history. It speaks for itself. One detail struck me, however, as particularly … More The cost of peace in Afghanistan
There are many different ways of telling a story. And while I may not just write for newspapers any more, my own way of doing it has changed little during my career. The platforms may evolve but I still use the same words. One of the exciting things about being in New York is to … More BASETRACK Live