Afghanistan

The wages of Obama’s foreign policy indifference

Featured image Last month, relying mainly on the work of Jessica Lewis of the Institute for the Study of War, I wrote about the resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq. Today, the Washington Post, in a front page story that quotes Lewis extensively, describes the same phenomenon: Nearly two years after the U.S. troop withdrawal, Iraq is in the midst of a deepening security crisis as an al-Qaeda affiliate wages a relentless »

Obama’s scandalous Afghan exit strategy

Featured image Congressional Republicans aren’t the only ones against whom President Obama is playing hardball. He’s also playing it against the government of Afghanistan, a U.S. ally. The issue is the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to Max Boot, who cites a Washington Post report, Obama has told President Karzai that if there is no agreement by October 31 on the terms for keeping a residual U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, the »

Life Among the Barbarians

Featured image Phyllis Chesler is a psychologist and academic whose writings we have quoted from time to time over the years. Ms. Chesler has always had a rather skeptical attitude toward Islam, in particular with regard to its treatment of women. Now we know why: Chesler has published a new book titled An American Bride In Kabul. You can read an excerpt from An American Bride in the New York Post. Chesler’s »

Break the logjam on visas for foreign interpreters who served our military during war

Featured image During an appearance before the Washington chapter of the Federalist Society earlier this year, someone asked Rep. Tom Cotton about immigration reform. As part of his answer, Tom noted that the Afghan who served as his interpreter while he participated in the Afghanistan war was still waiting for a U.S. visa. Why grant status to millions of illegal aliens while a man who risked his life supporting America’s war effort »

Negotiating the terms of America’s humiliation

Featured image The U.S. has commenced negotiations with the Taliban. The Afghan government is excluded from the talks, which I consider a disgrace. The U.S. has proved to be a worse than feckless partner. Why any state or group would ever again cast its lot with America, where there are other options, is beyond me. Quite apart from the exclusion of the Afghan government, the negotiations strike me as a classic case »

Obama signals retreat in the fight against terrorism

Featured image President Obama delivered an address today at the National Defense University called “The Future of our Fight Against Terrorism.” Actually, part of the speech was about the past, including much self-congratulation and some shots at President Bush. This part of the speech is revisionist rubbish. As Max Boot explains: Obama said, for example, that after he came into office, “we unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked »

How America lost its four great generals

Featured image When USMC General John Allen’s retirement was announced in February, our friend Hugh Hewitt called on Victor Davis Hanson to answer the question whether such a drain of military talent — the retirements of Generals McChrystal, Petraeus, Mattis and Allen, in that order — had ever previously occurred in our country’s history over so short a period of time (30 months) because of retirement. “That they occurred during wartime,” Hugh »

The American Mind with Mark Helprin

Featured image The Claremont Institute continues its American Mind series with host Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and guest Mark Helprin. Helprin is the acclaimed novelist and observer of the contemporary scene. He has been a ferocious critic of our response to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq. The institute posts the interview in segments on a weekly basis here. We are pleased to post the interview in its »

Jake Tapper reports: An American hero

Featured image It’s hard to understand our lives without seeing that the human virtues are real and that they exist pretty much as Aristotle described them in The Nichomachaean Ethics. Aristotle’s understanding imprinted itself on the Founders of the United States. When progressive politicians, historians and social scientists denigrated the virtues in order to undermine the Founders’ handiwork, as they continue to do in our own day, John Ford sought to save »

Hero of Combat Outpost Keating Receives Medal of Honor

Featured image This afternoon, President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha at the White House. Sgt. Romesha received the medal for his heroism in helping to fight off an attack in 2009 by more than 300 Taliban who threatened to overrun Combat Outpost Keating, in northeastern Afghanistan. For some reason, the Daily Mail web site seems to have the most complete account of the ceremony, and the »

McChrystal’s share

Featured image Over the holidays my daughter Eliana was home poring over an advance copy of General McChrystal’s memoir, My Share of the Task, officially published this week. She found it absorbing and read it closely. On Monday she followed up with an interview of General McChrstyal. NRO has posted her column “McChrystal’s Share of the Task.” Her take on the book makes points I haven’t seen made elsewhere. I want to »

On not criticizing the Taliban

Featured image A reader writes in response to John’s post “Don’t criticize the Taliban!” What is to be said about that mind-boggling Army manual that John discusses in the post? The reader comments: I am an active duty Army officer and a military history major with two deployments under my belt. I read this article in the Wall Street Journal when it was first published a day or two ago and have »

Don’t Criticize the Taliban!

Featured image The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of a new Army handbook for soldiers destined for Afghanistan. The draft handbook has not yet been put into use, but is described as a “final coordinating draft” that was sent out for review in November. The manual instructs soldiers on how to get along with their counterparts in the Afghan Army. It reflects the view, held by some officers but generally deemed »

“The Outpost”: Buy This Book

Featured image I’m only half way through it, but with our readers starting to think about Christmas shopping, I want to join the chorus of praise for Jake Tapper and his new book about the war in Afghanistan, The Outpost. Tapper is well-known as one of the few real journalists in the Washington press corps, but The Outpost is an achievement of a whole different order of magnitude. It tells the story »

A word from Tom Brown

Featured image Tom Brown is the father-in-law of Dartmouth alum and ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper. I admire Jake’s work; he seems to me to be a straight shooter. He’s not toeing anybody’s line. Mr. Brown draws attention to Tapper’s new book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, to be published on November 13. He writes: Jake details life for our soldiers as they build, man, support and »

Afghanistan missing from candidates’ “closing arguments”

Featured image Today’s Wall Street Journal contains “closing argument” statements by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. President Obama mentions Afghanistan once in part of a sentence that talks about “ending” – not winning – “the wars.” Romney says nothing about Afghanistan. A friend writes: Think about this for a second: America has been at war in Afghanistan for 11 years; Americans are currently fighting and dying there; and neither candidate for president »

Chaos at the Pentagon?

Featured image The American media continues to neglect or deflect the Obama Administration’s negligence in the Middle East, at least the New York Times saw fit to put on page 1 yesterday the news of the latest successful Taliban attack in Afghanistan.  Like the Benghazi consulate attack, it seems to have involved a serious security breach.  (Hat tip to my old drinking pal and loyal Power Line reader JB in Texas for »