• Pashto singer Ghazala Javed

    The Day the Music Died

    Ghazala Javed soared from poverty to stardom in a world that loves its songs but holds singers in contempt. It ended with her being shot dead.
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    Dueling Manifestos

    A Taliban letter sounds a newly moderate note while the Haqqani faction puts out a how-to book for jihad.
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    General Rod's War

    He's the unsung general who drafted the plan for the surge. It's gone fine so far. Now, the real test.
  • Taliban Anoints Two New Leaders

    Nearly a year ago, Pakistani security forces acting on U.S. intelligence arrested the Taliban’s senior leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, brother-in-law and No. 2 to the reclusive, one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar. Now the Taliban have finally anointed his successor.
  • taseer-pakistan-mumtaz-wide

    Blasphemy Backlash

    Within hours of the slaying of Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, people who supported it had built a social-media shrine to the assassin, lavishing praise on him on Facebook.
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    Afghanistan Feels the Squeeze

    If Gen. David Petraeus gets his wish, this will be the year of the snake. America’s top officer in Afghanistan recently explained his war plan as the “anaconda strategy,” designed to “squeeze the life” out of the Taliban insurgency. And according to the Pentagon, it’s working already. In Helmand and the Taliban’s home province, Kandahar, the military says, the insurgents’ momentum has been slowed or even reversed by thousands of U.S. reinforcements using get-tough tactics. In fact, another year or two of such victories might conceivably reduce the insurgency in the south to a worrisome but tolerable nuisance.
  • Holbrooke in the Trenches

    When Richard Holbrooke took up his assignment as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan early last year, trying to lay the foundations for long-term stability at the epicenter of the Obama administration’s tremulous policy, he knew as well as anyone that his mission was close to impossible.
  • ptsd-afghanistan-artlede

    Do the Taliban Get PTSD?

    U.S. troops aren’t the only ones in Afghanistan who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. It also afflicts Afghan civilians—and the Taliban, too.
  • pakistan-ov02-hsmall

    More Dangerous Than Ever

    Three years after NEWSWEEK published its controversial cover naming Pakistan the world’s most dangerous nation, it seems to be even worse off.
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    Pakistan's Military Steps In on Flood Relief

    In recent weeks, Pakistanis could be forgiven for thinking that the military, which has ruled for half of the country’s 63 years of independence, had come back into power. Television news has been filled with footage of Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visiting some of the country’s 6 million flood victims as Army helicopters dropped food and water and made rescues in isolated mountain villages.
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    How the Pakistani Floods Help the Taliban

    The Pakistani Army’s response to the flood has been swift and competent. But in terms of aid and infrastructure, Islamabad has utterly failed, which means the Taliban can claim to care more about people than the government.
  • afghanistan-banned-tease

    Taliban Seeks Vengeance in Wake of WikiLeaks

    After WikiLeaks published a trove of U.S. intelligence documents—some of which listed the names and villages of Afghans who had been secretly cooperating with the American military—it didn’t take long for the Taliban to react. A spokesman for the group quickly threatened to “punish” any Afghan listed as having “collaborated” with the U.S. and the Kabul authorities against the growing Taliban insurgency. In recent days, the Taliban has demonstrated how seriously those threats should be considered.
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    How Pakistan Helps the Taliban

    Pakistan's ongoing support of the Afghan Taliban is anything but news to insurgents. Many of them readily admit their utter dependence on the country's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, not only for sanctuary and safe passage but also, some say, for much of their financial support. One officer offered an unverifiable estimate that Pakistan provides roughly 80 percent of the insurgents' funding.
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    Pakistan Loses Control

    The Afghan Taliban’s three operational chiefs have gone deep underground, senior insurgent officials tell NEWSWEEK, and meetings of the leadership have been canceled until further notice. The three—former Taliban civil-aviation minister Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, former Taliban provincial governor Mullah Mohammad Hasan Rahmani, and military commander and former Guantánamo inmate Abdul Qayum Zakir—had operated with impunity from their rear bases inside Pakistan for years until the arrest near Karachi in February of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the group’s director of day-to-day actions at the time.
  • afghanistan-conference-wide

    Kabul Conference Sets Lofty Goals

    The latest international meeting on Afghanistan optimistically set a date for a security handover and devised a plan to rebuild the country. But is any of this actually achievable?
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    What the Taliban Think of McChrystal's Ouster

    Taliban fighters have been elated by the firestorm over Gen. Stanley McChrystal's comments to an embedded magazine reporter. To them, bickering in Washington and dissent within the military means that the U.S. invasion is falling apart.
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    Pakistan's Push to Clear the Waziristans

    Under intense U.S. pressure to drive deeper into the jihadist havens of North and South Waziristan, Pakistan is trying to clear the area its own way. The country’s military chiefs dread the losses their troops would suffer against entrenched militants in the tribal badlands, but something has to be done, if only to stop the erosion of public support for the government. While American drone attacks have been effective in killing dozens of militants, many Pakistanis deeply resent the strikes as an affront to Pakistani sovereignty, and they despise their government for allowing them.
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    Can Buried Treasure Save Afghanistan?

    In an eerie echo of those brief, heady days in Saigon, U.S. officials are crowing over the discovery of nearly $1 trillion worth of mineral wealth in Afghanistan. According to The New York Times, Pentagon officials have mapped "huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium."