May 6, 2009 |
President Obama begins two days of talks at the White House today with the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to overhaul a painstakingly developed security strategy that was unveiled only five weeks ago but already has become badly outdated. The three countries spent months developing their plan to combat an Islamic insurgency centered in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. But growing militant activity in Pakistan is forcing them to hastily switch focus.
February 16, 2009
Just in case he had any doubts about the challenges ahead, U.S. envoy Richard C. Holbrooke was welcomed to South Asia last week with a bomb in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar and coordinated attacks in the Afghan capital of Kabul that left 26 dead. Afghanistan's intelligence chief said there may have been contacts between the assailants in Kabul and militants in Pakistan, underscoring that the neighboring countries represent two fronts in one war.
December 16, 2010 |
Richard C. Holbrooke, who died Monday at 69, was most often described in terms of his larger-than-life style. He had protean energy, bulldozer tenacity and an always visible ego, all of which he used in relentless pursuit of what he felt was America's duty: to try to fix the world's problems. But the last time I had a conversation with Holbrooke, he sounded frustrated. "How does this thing end? I don't know," he said last summer, talking about the overwhelming obstacles the U.S. faces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
December 12, 2010 |
Richard C. Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was in critical condition Saturday after undergoing surgery to repair a tear in his aorta, a State Department spokesman said. Holbrooke, 69, underwent surgery Saturday morning at George Washington University Hospital after becoming ill at the State Department the day before, spokesman Philip J. Crowley said. President Obama issued a statement Saturday evening saying he had spoken to Holbrooke's wife, author Kati Marton, and told her that he and first lady Michelle Obama were "praying for Richard.
October 24, 2009 |
The senior envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan sought Friday to dispel suggestions that he had been sidelined during dramatic diplomacy in Afghanistan because of his stormy relationship with the Afghan president. Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke acknowledged that he had been in Washington, rather than Kabul, last weekend as Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and other senior U.S. officials pressured a reluctant Karzai to agree to a runoff election, which has been scheduled for Nov. 7. Holbrooke, in a State Department news conference, said he had remained in Washington to take part in deliberations on whether to overhaul the U.S. strategy and send thousands more troops to Afghanistan.
December 27, 2009 |
The United States spent 2009 at war again -- with its own troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and as a major, indirect supporter of Pakistan in its internal counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism campaign as well. On balance, I would judge it a moderately successful year in all three places to varying degrees. But that is admittedly a subjective judgment and also obviously requires a great deal more discussion. First, the basics: The year was one of gradual drawdown in Iraq together with intensification of operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
September 16, 2001 |
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban threatened neighboring Islamic countries with war Saturday, including invasion, if they grant the United States use of airspace or military bases in the quest to capture suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. The warning, directed principally at Pakistan, came as the government here pondered for a third day its detailed response to an American "wish list" for help to fight terrorism.
September 5, 2009 |
Prime Minister Gordon Brown defended Britain's military presence in Afghanistan in a major policy speech Friday that came as a defense aide quit over the mission's strategy. Brown said that insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan still present major terrorist threats. "Each time I have to ask myself if we are doing the right thing by being in Afghanistan. Each time I have to ask myself if we can justify sending our young men and women to fight for this cause," Brown said in a keynote speech to the Institute of Strategic Studies.
February 1, 2009 |
In his presidential campaign, Barack Obama sometimes made foreign policy sound like a simple matter of changing the tone, turning the page -- and moving 10,000 troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. "Rather than fight a war that does not need to be fought, we need to start fighting the battles that need to be won on the central front against Al Qaeda, in Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said in a March speech on foreign policy.
June 26, 2011 |
A battered Peugeot sedan greeted visitors Saturday to a conference hall in north Tehran. "Professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi, martyred in front of his house," explained an accompanying poster. It was a reference to the mysterious assassination last year of the Iranian physicist, killed when a bomb exploded near his car in Tehran. Iranian authorities have blamed the West for the killing. The Peugeot was the symbolic scene-setter for a two-day conference in the Iranian capital on fighting terrorism.