Jonathan Tepperman

Stories by Jonathan Tepperman

  • The Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir

    Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, say U.S. and Indian sources. The countries last held such talks under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when Musharraf was ousted in August 2008. Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now—open talks are also being discussed—would represent a huge boon for the region.And not just there. The payoff would stretch all the way to Washington. Peace between India and Pakistan could help unlock another conflict with even higher stakes for the United States: the war in Afghanistan. Indeed, a growing chorus of experts has begun arguing that the road to Kabul runs through Kashmir—that the U.S. will never stabilize the former without peace in the latter. Suddenly, bringing India and Pakistan together seems to be very much in America's interest. Which makes the Obama administration's determination...
  • Custom Designed By Hand, Digitally

    Certain adjectives carry an almost magical aura that makes one snap to attention and succumb to lust. The words in question vary from person to person; for some it might be "deep-fried" or "Swiss-made" or "turbo-charged." For me, the mystical descriptor is "bespoke"; for years I've pined for a handmade, custom-designed wardrobe. There's just one problem: I'm a journalist, not a partner at Goldman Sachs. So I've had to devote most of my slender resources to satisfying more basic needs like food and shelter.Now Colin Hunter and Peyton Jenkins think they've found a way for me to have it all. The two preppy, 20-something New Yorkers and onetime University of Virginia classmates are the founders of Alton Lane. The company, which soft-launched in October, aims to offer custom clothing to the discriminating masses by employing another ingredient also irresistible to most males: high technology.The idea is simple and savvy. The partners, a former banker and a consultant, use a 3-D digital...
  • The Road to Kabul Runs Through New Delhi

    Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, say U.S. and Indian sources. The countries last held such talks under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when Musharraf was ousted in August 2008. Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now—open talks are also being discussed—would represent a huge development for the region.And not just there. The payoff would stretch all the way to Washington. Peace between India and Pakistan could unlock another conflict with even higher stakes for the United States: Afghanistan. Indeed, a growing chorus of experts has begun arguing that the road to Kabul runs through Kashmir—that the U.S. will never stabilize the former without peace in the latter. Suddenly, bringing India and Pakistan together seems to be very much in America's interest. Which makes the Obama administration's determination to avoid...
  • Slicing My Way to Perfection

    I tend to cut myself when I cook. I've thrown out a brand-new meat slicer after multiple manglings and have sent myself to the hospital after tangling with an apple peeler. So it was with well-founded fear that I recently decided to test some of the new chef's knives that have started popping onto the market in recent years.The decision to risk my health for science was one part culinary, two parts cussedness. I am an enthusiastic home cook and a gear geek. I'm always convincing myself that the next purchase—be it a fountain pen or a PDA—will make me a finer writer, a more efficient worker, a better human being. At the same time, I've watched the recent proliferation of exotic kitchen knives—sales of blades costing more than $150 are up 15 percent this year, even as overall knife sales are down—with skepticism, wondering on the one hand how I could justify such a purpose while sternly telling myself that they couldn't be worth it. To resolve matters, I decided to stage a chop-off in...
  • How Nuclear Weapons Can Keep You Safe

    On Sept. 24, President Barack Obama will bring together 14 world leaders for a special U.N. Security Council meeting in New York. On the agenda: how to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The summit is the latest step in the administration's campaign to eliminate nukes, a priority Obama stressed on the campaign trail and formally announced in April during his speech in Prague. U.S. attempts to stop Iran from acquiring the bomb and to pry the weapons out of North Korea's fingers are also key parts of this campaign.These efforts are all grounded in the same proposition: that, as Obama has said several times, nuclear weapons represent the "gravest threat" to U.S. security. This argument has a lot going for it. It's strongly intuitive, as anyone who's ever seen pictures of Hiroshima or Nagasaki knows. It's also popular; U.S. presidents have been making similar noises since the Eisenhower administration, and halting the spread of nukes (if not eliminating them altogether) is one of the few...
  • In Defense of Eating Well

    In 1942, a little-known Michigan-born journalist living in Europe decided to write a cookbook of sorts. Her name was M.F.K. Fisher, and the result, How to Cook a Wolf, was less a collection of recipes than a guide to, and a fierce defense of, eating well when the world was at war, food was scarce and the proverbial wolf was "snuffling at the door." Fisher was adamant that, whatever the circumstances, one must try to exist as richly as possible. As she later told an interviewer, "One has to live, you know. You can't just die from grief or anything. You don't die. You might as well eat well, have a good glass of wine, a good tomato."I've been thinking about Fisher a lot lately. While the wolf has not yet reached the threshold again, she's been sighted in the neighborhood and can be heard baying up the empty canyons of Wall Street. Which makes advice like Fisher's as important now as it was 60 years ago. For her point was not just that we should struggle to live well for the sake of...
  • America's Allies: Troubles on Three Fronts

    Barack Obama came to office promising to work with allies in the war on terror. But recent events are proving that's easier said than done: on three critical fronts, America's partners are proving unable—or unwilling—to help. Consider: last month Obama visited Iraq, from which he's promised to withdraw all U.S. troops by 2011. In Baghdad, the president urged Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to improve security and reach out to Iraq's Sunni minority (both key prerequisites to an American pullout). Maliki, however, is "feeling his oats" as his strength grows and the U.S. departure approaches, says Brookings Institution expert Michael O'Hanlon. That's making Maliki less accommodating to Sunnis and other minorities, delaying oil-sharing deals and plans to assimilate ex-insurgents into the Army. The result? A new wave of suicide bombings and gunfights between militants and government forces.Obama's next stop was Istanbul, where he called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...
  • How Obama's Promises on Afghanistan Could Hurt Him

    Barack Obama is leading the polls at home, but he's downright beloved abroad, where he's seen as a Kennedyesque star who could quickly heal the damage America's done to its image with Iraq, Guantánamo, and other missteps....
  • Time Of The Tough Guys

    A global leadership poll finds a crisis of confidence—and real support for strongmen.
  • Poll: Iranians Warm to U.S.

    Iranians still don't like America very much, but the ice is beginning to melt, a new poll shows.
  • Martin Amis: I, Crackpot?

    Martin Amis is a crack novelist. But as a post-9/11 political analyst, he's turned into a bit of a crackpot.
  • Q&A: Jimmy Carter

    Since leaving office, Jimmy Carter has worked as a roving peace negotiator, election monitor (through the Carter Center), home builder (through Habitat for Humanity) and author. Now 83, the former president spoke to NEWSWEEK'S Jonathan Tepperman about the United States' battered image and the role of ethics in politics. Excerpts: ...
  • Liberia: Do It, But Do It Right

    At each stop on his Africa tour last week, President George W. Bush hinted--without quite committing himself--that he's about to send peacekeepers to war-racked Liberia. The move shocked diplomats and policy experts, even as it overjoyed most Africans. After all, Bush came to office heaping scorn on peacekeeping and declaring Africa outside the U.S. national interest.Why the reversal, then? Has the White House suddenly found religion? Or is it just trying to burnish its post-Iraq image by showing the world that it really does care about human misery--even when oil is not involved?The answer matters little to Liberians, who care only that Bush does the job right. This is no small order, however; as Bush is slowly learning in Iraq and Afghanistan, merely keeping the peace in a chaotic land is extremely difficult.Luckily, recent history provides a handy guide for what not to do in Liberia. Bush must avoid the mistakes that doomed the last U.S. foray into Africa: the 1992 intervention...
  • ISRAEL'S RELUCTANT WARRIORS

    When Dick Cheney arrives in Israel next week, he'll find himself in a country all but paralyzed politically. As the body count mounts and the region slides toward war, Ariel Sharon seems unable to offer any solution other than bloody reprisals for Palestinian attacks. The Israeli left remains stunned and virtually silent, as it has since the collapse of the peace process and the start of the second intifada almost 18 months ago. Indeed, the only dramatic initiative of late has come from outside the country: from Saudi Arabia, which has floated its own version of a peace deal.Israel's political scene has not been entirely moribund, however. A growing group of young reserve officers has announced its intention not to serve in the territories, galvanizing debate in the process. The movement began in mid-January when 50 reservists sent a letter to an Israeli newspaper accusing the Army of "ruling, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people" in the territories and announced...