The Problem with Afghan Reconstruction
24 August 2021
After spending around $40 billion a year, the Americans have realized the futility of their efforts in nation building in Afghanistan. Nothing much has changed in the country during their twenty years trying to tame it. Afghanistan’s people still do not define themselves as Afghans, but rather as Pashtun, Tajik or Uzbek. So it’s time to “liquidate unsound positions” as George F. Kennan said about Vietnam. But why now?
Afghanistan, but without the Americans
15 August 2021
In April, President Biden announced his decision to leave Afghanistan. He was ending America’s “forever wars” in order to focus on what the Department of Defense calls a “near-peer adversary,” by which it means China. So no more counterinsurgency. No more street battles, no more winning “hearts and minds.”
Confronting disaster statelessly
08 August 2021
Beirutis are no strangers to earth-shattering explosions. Stories of airstrikes, even car bombs will not be too rare among the city’s inhabitants. Yet there is an unusual amount of anger and frustration among the Lebanese when it comes to the blast in Beirut port a year ago. Why?
Good for Europe, bad for the rest?
01 August 2021
The Green Deal was first announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in December 2019. This “jobs and growth agenda for Europe” was the talk of the town in Brussels. “They can’t do it” was the talk of the town in Ankara. It simply seemed too radical, too disruptive.