Afghanistan

Photographers, including Jawad Jalali, take shelter as a new explosion is heard while photographing an attack in Kabul in this archival photo.

‘This is the Darkest Moment’: Afghans Flee a Crumbling Country

The educated middle classes that were meant to be the foundation of a new Afghanistan are tired of terror, insecurity, and the return of the Taliban.

Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Amlaqullah Patyani, the commander of the Kabul Military Training Center, introduces then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Afghan recruits during a break in training on military operations in urban terrain during a two-day surprise visit to Kabul on Jan. 11, 2011.

How Not to Leave Afghanistan

Congress has issued a report on the longest war in U.S. history. Here’s hoping Biden ignores it.

U.S. Army soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division arrive home from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan on Dec. 8, 2020 at Fort Drum, New York.

Should Biden Ditch All of Trump’s Policies?

From Afghanistan to China, the new administration seems likely to hold on to some ideas from the previous one.

A convoy crosses a bridge in Termez, now part of Uzbekistan, during the withdrawal of the Soviet Red Army from Afghanistan, on May 21, 1988.

America Is Going the Same Way as the Soviets in Afghanistan

The Soviet withdrawal was a disaster. The U.S. version looks eerily similar.

Troops of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade disembark from Chinook CH-47 helicopters during military exercises near Hohenfels, Gerrmany, on Aug. 10, 2020.

Trump’s Worst 2 Military Mistakes for Biden to Fix

Some policies may be worth keeping, but Trump’s handling of allies and withdrawals from conflict zones are not among them.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives with the government delegation during a visit in Herat province, Afghanistan, on Jan. 21.

To Leave Afghanistan, Biden Must Solve His Ghani Problem

Even as the United States checks the Taliban, it must stop the Afghan president from playing the spoiler.

An Afghan policeman keeps watch over miners at a gold mine on a mountainside near the village of Qara Zaghan in Baghlan province on May 6, 2013.

Afghanistan Wanted Chinese Mining Investment. It Got a Chinese Spy Ring Instead.

Desperate to jump-start its economy, Kabul is sick of waiting for Beijing to tap the country’s mineral wealth.

A plume of smoke rises over Khost city moments after a car bomb detonated at the gates of an Afghan National Security Forces base on Oct. 27, 2020, leading to an eight-hour battle between Afghan forces and unknown attackers part of a spate of violence in the region near Camp Chapman.

Another Base Attack in Afghanistan Hushed Up to Hurry U.S. Exit

Camp Chapman, once the scene of the CIA’s second-deadliest day, was hit again in December—but never reported.

Supporters and employees of Philippine broadcast network ABS-CBN protest against government attacks on press freedom, in Manila on Feb. 21, 2020.

How Press Freedom Came Under Attack in 2020

Citizens hungry for information turned to the media during the pandemic, but governments around the world used the crisis to restrict journalists.

Members of the Somali military watch as firefighters work to extinguish a blaze after a car bomb exploded in Mogadishu on Jan. 29, 2019.

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2021

The world in 2021 will be haunted by the legacies of 2020: an ongoing pandemic, an economic crisis, Donald Trump’s divisive presidency—and new threats emanating from wars and climate change.

A doctor measures the blood pressure of a patient at the Kahdistan health clinic in Herat province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 7. The increasing presence of midwives across the country has started to play a role in improving a mother’s and baby’s chances of survival. Afghanistan’s maternal mortality rate has dropped from 1,300 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2002 to 638 deaths per 100,000 births in 2017.

Looming Aid Cuts Will Harm Afghan Women’s Health

With violence on the rise and the U.S. military drawing down, international donors are pulling back some assistance to Afghanistan. Women in refugee camps stand to suffer.

A member of the U.S. Air Force keeps watch over the runway at Kandahar Air Field in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9, 2017.

Forever’s Gonna Stop Tonight

Trump pledged to end America’s “forever wars.” He almost managed to—but left carnage behind.

Activists burn the U.S. flag during a protest against U.S. drone attacks in Multan, Pakistan on March 14, 2012.

Obama’s Brutal Drone Legacy Will Haunt the Biden Administration

In his memoirs, the former U.S. president seems uninterested in a critical appraisal of his drone policies. Considering the human suffering caused by America’s drone wars, Joe Biden should not make the same mistake.

A Swiss customs officer

Our Top Weekend Reads

EU member states find commonality in crisis, Afghans accuse donor countries of hypocrisy on corruption, and how Biden’s climate plans could shape energy markets.

Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto

Afghans, Under Fire for Corruption, Accuse Donors of Hypocrisy

Much of the donor money to Afghanistan is lost to fraud and abuse, in part by Western companies.

A beggar who said he lost his leg from a mine injury is seen in traffic on Sept. 21, 2019 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Needs Truth Before It Can Have Reconciliation

Politicians and warlords have benefited from decades of violence. The victims of the country’s endless wars could provide the key to a lasting peace.

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