Dr. Barnett Rubin published "Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror" in hard cover in April 2013, and a paper back version was published through Oxford University Press in May 2015. Amazon writes that Rubin distills his unmatched knowledge of Afghanistan in this invaluable book. He shows how the Taliban arose in resistance to warlords some of whom who were raping and plundering with impunity in the vacuum of authority left by the collapse of the Afghan state after the Soviet withdrawal.
The United States should work with the Afghan government to help young Afghans build a future for themselves in their country. But America's responsibility to them — after 14 years of failing to bring peace and security to Afghanistan — goes beyond that.
While the U.S. was operating in Afghanistan, it created a parallel public service sector to the Afghan government that was larger and better paid. The U.S. and NATO military and aid programs employed thousands of young Afghans, newly educated in schools the West paid for.
The first time I heard the German word “zwangsoptimist” was in a meeting to discuss ways to improve how the international system functions. Meaning “someone who feels compelled to be an optimist,” the word not only succinctly sums up my work for and alongside the U.N. over the past 27 years, but could also be a one-word job description for the organization’s next secretary-general.
The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes.
After the December 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre in Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised there would be “no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban”. In February 2015, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif announced in Kabul that “the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan”. Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister on national security, repeated the same sentiment in May that year.
In May of 2010 Tuft University’s Institute for Global Leadership gathered a select group of Afghan politicians and military officials, Pakistani journalists and scholars, United Nations officials, diplomats, humanitarian workers, and U.S. military representative to discuss on the opportunities for, and obstacles to, security and political reconciliation in Afghanistan. This report presents a summary of that meeting.
The absence of effective oversight and control of private security providers (PSPs) employed by the international community undermines the credibility and effectiveness of the Afghan government, the international military and diplomatic presence, and reconstruction organizations.
The twenty-first century will be defined by security threats unconstrained by borders—from economic instability, climate change, and nuclear proliferation to conflict, poverty, terrorism and disease. The greatest test of global leadership will be building partnerships and institutions for cooperation that can meet the challenge.