Nation Topics - War and Peace

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FISA order

The revelations of whistleblowers lead us to believe that we know a great deal about the secret world of Washington. This is an illusion.

Vietnam War timeline

The Pentagon’s whitewashed history of the Vietnam War provokes troubling questions about how the invasion of Iraq will one day be remembered.

Glenn Greenwald

If anything, reporting on the NSA’s overreach has revealed just how dangerous to our freedoms the agency’s surveillance practices really are.

Afghanistan drone

It’s still possible to remember, almost nostalgically, how the Fifth Amendment used to guarantee Americans due process.

Lakhdar Brahimi

Thanks to the deft negotiations of this veteran UN troubleshooter, tensions have eased in the Geneva peace talks. 

Israeli tank

Progress can’t be made toward a just settlement between Israel and Palestine until Washington quits arming one side to the teeth. 

NSA headquarters

It's increasingly clear that the online world is, for both government surveillance types and corporate sellers, a new Wild West where anything goes.

Obama and Singh

On human rights, nuclear energy, climate change and more, the US and India are set to clash. 

NSA headquarters

A document leaked by Edward Snowden, along with interviews with lawyers representing terrorism suspects, reveal a disturbing loophole in this once-sacred legal principle. 


Is there any chance that the logjam on negotiating an end to the war in Afghanistan is loosening up? So far the United States seems to be taking a hands-off attitude.

February 2, 2010

Just like Hong Kong, soon enough Taiwan -- the so-called Republic of China -- will be absorbed into China proper. It's a goner. The sheer force of China's gravitational pull will draw the island to the mainland. So what, exactly, is the Obama administration thinking?

February 1, 2010

What did Tony Blair know, and when did he know it?

January 29, 2010

Yesterday, I had a chance to question General David Petraeus about President Obama's Afghan timetable, and what he had to say leads one to suspect that if Petraeus, McChrystal, and Co. are ever going to leave Afghanistan, they'll have to be dragged out kicking and screaming.


January 22, 2010

For years, I've written about Iran's untoward influence in Iraq. Now, it appears as if Iran is making a power play, using its Iraqi allies, that could checkmate US influence in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.

January 20, 2010

Last week, during an appearance by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the Brookings Institution, I had a chance to ask him a key question about the war, concerning the Pakistan-Taliban alliance. Oddly enough, in his answer, Holbrooke -- who is the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that discussion of how to defeat the opponents of the US in Afghanistan shouldn't be conducted "in public."

January 12, 2010

The "good war" in Afghanistan isn't going so well, but the Obama administration may soon learn that the "bad war" -- that would be the one in Iraq -- isn't over yet.

January 11, 2010

Yesterday, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a rare public appearance to speak about America's challenges in the Middle East.  However, contrary to some news reports and blog accounts of Mullen's comments, the admiral clearly backed away from anything that sounded like a military threat, and it was clear throughout his entire remarks that Mullen, and the US military, is exceedingly averse to an armed confrontation with Tehran.

January 8, 2010

One of the paradoxes of America's bumbling intervention in Afghanistan is that the United States knows next to nothing about the country it is occupying.

January 6, 2010

The Obama speech was about what I expected: on the one hand/on the other hand, I reject false choices, needle-threading "pragmatism." I have to say I find this rhetorical approach increasingly wearying. There always seems to be the implication, hidden between the lines, that only the author of the speech truly understands how complicated the world is. During the race speech, that was appropriate and affecting: there are few people who've experienced race in as much of its full complexity as Barack Obama. But I don't think the same thing holds for war and peace.

December 10, 2009