In Depth: South Asia

2 Dec 2009

Germans Respond to New Afghan War Strategy

Spiegel Online. Germany. 07:00 PM EST

Britain Pledges Aid to Pakistan

Al Jazeera. 07:00 PM EST

World Leaders Respond to New Afghan Strategy

Spiegel Online. Germany. 07:00 PM EST
1 Dec 2009

Mixed Reactions from Afghans on Troop Surge

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Czech Republic. 07:00 PM EST

Phony War: Afghanistan and the Democrats

Most Americans in 2003 thought that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were complementary theaters. Yet a brief review of the two wars not only suggests that such a view is mistaken, but also that it is disingenuous...
30 Nov 2009
13 Nov 2009

Amazing Photographs from Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog Take a look at these “extraordinary pictures from Afghanistan”:http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2009/10/30/photographer-collection-david-guttenfelder-in-afghanistan/ by David Guttenfelder at the Denver Post Media Center. ...

13 Oct 2009

Hezbollah Isn’t a Model for Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog According to the Washington Post , some White House foreign-policy hands “may be willing to call it a day in Afghanistan”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/08/AR2009100804329.html if the U.S. ...

10 Oct 2009

In the Crosshairs of the Syrian-Iranian Axis

Michael J. Totten's blog The South Lebanon border area is what Robert D. Kaplan calls a “shatter zone,” a region where government authority is either diluted or non-existent and where conflict is therefore all the more likely, if not inevitable. ...

6 Oct 2009

Iran Isn’t Stalinist Russia

Michael J. Totten's blog In the October 12 issue of Newsweek , Fareed Zakaria “makes a case for containing rather than confronting Iran”:http://www.newsweek.com/id/216702, partly because he expects “a massive outpouring of support for the Iranian ...

30 Sep 2009

We Are in Trouble

Michael J. Totten's blog Michael Yon has spent more time in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other journalist. I pay serious attention to what he writes because, unlike some journalists, he describes the same reality I see when I’m in the same place at ...

25 Sep 2009

Censoring Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog “Michael Yon’s latest dispatch”:http://www.michaelyon-online.com/bullshit-bob.htm about British censorship of media reports from Afghanistan should be required reading — especially for readers in Britain. Europe and Central ...

1 Sep 2009

Talibanistan: The Talibs at Home

If you think the Talibs aren't the rainmakers in AfPak these days, try to collect a measly debt—much less win a war—without them. Our correspondent did. (And he still hasn't heard from Western Union.)
7 Jul 2009

Child Abuse

Michael J. Totten's blog During the Iran-Iraq war, the Khomeinist regime in Tehran used “human waves of children to clear Iraqi landmines”:http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,CSCOAL,,IRN,,498805f02d,0.html by forcing them to run into minefields ...

21 Jun 2009

The lights are on, but is anybody in?

Michael J. Totten's blog Iran will not attend the upcoming G-8 summit in Italy. Not because Iran refused to. Because Iran simply has not answered. Here is what the Italian foreign minister “said”:http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08 ...

1 Jun 2009

Freedom Train: A Tour of 1989

Congressman David Dreier reflects on the twentieth anniversary of 1989, a tumultuous and decisive year.
31 May 2009

Around the Web

Michael J. Totten's blog I posted the following over at “Instapundit”:http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/ today while Glenn Reynolds is goofing off at the beach: THE TALIBAN abduct up to “hundreds of students in Pakistan”:http://www.washingtonpost ...

5 May 2009

Afghanistan’s Only Pig Quarantined

Michael J. Totten's blog I was going to write something serious about the H1N1 influenza virus spreading around the world, but now that it seems to be fizzling out (at least for now), I thought I’d post something “light and funny instead”:http://www ...

29 Apr 2009

The Taliban and Pashtun Nationalism

Michael J. Totten's blog Pakistan is looking more dangerous and precarious by the week. The only Muslim country in the world with an arsenal of nuclear weapons is now threatened by a ferocious and rapidly expanding Taliban insurgency. The most ...

13 Apr 2009

The UN’s Disintegration in Lebanon

Michael J. Totten's blog Poland is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the U.S. is pressuring other European contributors to the mission to send additional soldiers to Afghanistan, and “Israeli defense ...

22 Mar 2009

The Petraeus Model Won’t Work for Israel

Michael J. Totten's blog Andrew Exum, founder of the fine counterinsurgency blog “Abu Muqawama,”:http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/ wrote “a short piece for the New York Times”:http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/civilians-caught-in-urban ...

9 Jan 2009

Gaza and Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog Readers of this site know I support Israel’s war in Gaza. Long-time readers also know I opposed Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon. Unlike some, I do not automatically assume critics of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead hate Jews or ...

28 Sep 2008

The War Won’t End in Afghanistan

Michael J. Totten's blog Senator Barack Obama said something at the presidential debate last week that almost perfectly encapsulates the difference between his foreign policy and his opponent’s: “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates himself acknowledges ...

18 Sep 2008

Al Qaeda’s Defeat in Iraq

Michael J. Totten's blog “Senator Barack Obama’s answer”:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/17/eveningnews/main4456427.shtml to Katie Couric’s question a few days ago about why he thinks there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since ...

7 Sep 2008

Help Me Out Here

Michael J. Totten's blog I should have my next dispatch from the Caucasus region ready within 24 hours. I thought I would finish it today, but this one is a bit longer than usual and I need one more day. In the meantime, I could use some suggestions. ...

8 Jun 2008

Another Wave of Afghan Arabs?

Michael J. Totten's blog Arabic mujahideen famously volunteered to fight in Afghanistan during that country’s insurgency against occupying forces from the Soviet Union. Many so-called “Afghan Arab” veterans of the war, including Osama bin Laden, ...

1 Jun 2008

Dear Mr. President ...

You will no doubt have been advised against adopting any view that seems or seeks to attribute all events to one single cause. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the absolutely central and consistent role played, in so many of our difficulties, by the People’s Republic of China ...

Letter from the Editor: Summer 2008

L iberals seem confused. The hand-wringing about Burma, the faux moral posturing about Darfur (coupled with the insistence that we leave Iraqis to their fates), George Clooney’s pleas on behalf of the subjugated—the stirring together of all of these ...

4 May 2008

More From the Less-Scary Muslims File

Michael J. Totten's blog _By Lee Smith_ After the Hamas-loving “Bensonhurst imam”:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/nyregion/05imam.html?_r=1&oref=slogin, “Tariq Ramadan”:http://docs.google.com/View?docid=ah6sxjndq9qq_315dwk7qn, and “feel-good ...

1 Mar 2008

FDR and GWB: Unlearned Lessons of a Wartime Presidency

George W. Bush claimed the attacks of September 11, 2001, would transform American thinking about the world. His model was Pearl Harbor, and he and his supporters routinely summoned the analogy to muster popular support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the effect of 9/11 has faded ...
1 Jan 2008

A Plan to Kill Everyone

Michael J. Totten's blog “War, children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away” — The Rolling Stones, from “Gimme Shelter” FALLUJAH — A sign on the door leading out of India Company’s Combat Operations Center says “Have a Plan to Kill Everyone ...

27 Dec 2007

Ali Eteraz on Pakistan

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m not sure I agree with my friend Ali Eteraz’s policy recommendations at Pajamas Media for the United States and Pakistan, but he knows a lot more about that country than I do (he’s from there, and lives now in Las Vegas) ...

26 Dec 2007

Bad News

Michael J. Totten's blog Benazir Bhutto was killed in Pakistan by a suicide bomber . South Asia Pakistan Violence ...

26 Oct 2007

Blog World Expo in Las Vegas — UPDATED

Michael J. Totten's blog I was invited to speak at the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas next month, but I expected to be in Afghanistan, so I declined. As it turns out, though, I will just barely have time to attend (not as a speaker) before I leave for ...

17 Sep 2007

Anbar Awakens Part II: Hell is Over

Michael J. Totten's blog This is the second in a two-part series. Read Part One, The Battle of Ramadi, here . RAMADI, IRAQ — In early 2007 Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, was one of the most violent war-torn cities on Earth. By late ...

17 May 2007

Good and Bad Mainstream Journalism

Michael J. Totten's blog by Michael J. Totten I’m a bit slow with the blogging right now because I’m writing two long magazine articles that are taking up most of my time. Once these are out of the way, or at least when I have some breathing space ...

24 Oct 2006

Islamophobia (for lack of a better word)

Michael J. Totten's blog First of all, I want to publicly commend Dean Esmay for challenging right-wing bigotry (you heard me) against Muslims. It ought to go without saying that I am not referring to opponents, peaceful or otherwise, of Al Qaeda, ...

30 Apr 2006

On the Rim of a Volcano

Michael J. Totten's blog This is the second of a two-part series about the rising tension and danger on the Lebanese-Israeli border. Don’t miss Part One: Everything Could Explode at Any Moment . NORTHERN ISRAEL — Lisa and I followed Israeli Defense ...

26 Mar 2006

Hitch on Walt and Mearsheimer

Michael J. Totten's blog Christopher Hitchens offers his two cents on “The Lobby.” Rather than focus on Saudi Arabia, as Lee Smith has done, he instead chooses Pakistan and Turkey: For purposes of contrast, let us look at two other regional allies of ...

13 Mar 2006

Making blasphemy pay

Michael J. Totten's blog David T over at Harry’s Place has a great entry on Amr Khaled, an Egyptian preacher whose views are less than pleasant. Recently our embattled allies in Denmark engaged in some dialogue with Amr Khaled. According to The New ...

8 Mar 2006

Zarqawi Was Here

Michael J. Totten's blog BIARA, IRAQ — The PUK’s Minister of the Interior ordered 20 heavily armed Peshmerga soldiers to go with me to the borderland mountain village of Biara. For years the village was occupied by Ansar Al Islam, the Kurdish-Arab ...

13 Jan 2006

A Woman Traveling Alone

Michael J. Totten's blog CAIRO — Egypt doesn’t do many things better than Lebanon, but it does do the Internet better. Free wi-fi is both fast and ubiquitous. So I went to a cozy restaurant and pub, ordered a four-cheese pasta from the waiter, ...

4 Oct 2005

Hitchhiking the Chouf

Michael J. Totten's blog If you aren’t used to the climate, Beirut can be unbearably hot even in October. The Mediterranean is a steam bath. Mount Lebanon, which normally dominates the view to the east, is obscured behind a thick humid haze. I feel ...

13 Sep 2005

Gruesome George in His Own Words

Michael J. Totten's blog Mary Madigan and Judith Weiss are attending the Hitchens/Galloway debate and handing out leaflets made by Gene over at Harry’s Place . Here’s what the leaflets say. George Galloway: No Hero for the Democratic Left “If you are ...

19 Aug 2005

Careful What You Wish For

Michael J. Totten's blog It’s hardly worth arguing with a person who bandies about the term “chickenhawk.” I would like to know, though, how many of those people supported the invasion of Afghanistan from the sidelines. My guess is most of them did — ...

16 Aug 2005

300 Bombs Explode in Bangladesh

Michael J. Totten's blog Islamist terrorists prove once and for all that they are not primarily motivated by legitimate grievances against “Western imperialism” or any other such nonsense. It takes nothing, nothing at all, to whip these bastards into ...

11 Aug 2005

It’s Not All About Us

Michael J. Totten's blog My new Tech Central Station column is up: Islamists have killed thousands of Westerners over the past couple of years — thousands in New York City alone. But they have killed far more of their own fellow Muslims in ...