Ron Moreau

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."