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Tag Archive: Afghanistan

Erik Prince’s ‘New Band of Flying Tigers’ is a Sequel We Don’t Need

It shouldn’t be too surprising that in his recent New York Times op-ed calling for an infusion of private contractors into Afghanistan, Erik Prince sidestepped any discussion of Blackwater’s history in Iraq. The company had such a poor record that Prince has changed its name numerous times in the years since: he now is the CEO of the Frontier Services Group.…   continue »

Trump’s War–More Risk Than Reward for US Military Involvement in Afghanistan

Under the headline, “Former Special Forces Officer: If We Withdraw From Afghanistan, ISIS Will Move In,” Fox News identified a problem, but not the proper scale of that problem nor the appropriate solution.  What’s more, the implicit policy recommendation that comes with that framing of the issue is to support the president’s plan to send more US troops to the region.…   continue »

State Dept. Office of Global Criminal Justice on the Chopping Block–Time to save it


Word out of Washington is that the Trump Administration has started to restructure the State Department and particularly the Under-Secretariat for Civilian Security, Democracy & Human Rights.  “J” (as it is called around Foggy Bottom) encompasses a number of Bureaus and Offices, including the Bureau of Counter-Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT/CVE), the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP).…   continue »

Pentagon Admits Major Investigation Flaw: They Rarely Talk to Air Strike Witnesses or Victims


In a transcript of a Pentagon Press Briefing, released this week by Airwars, Central Command’s Deputy Director for Operations made a striking admission about U.S. investigations into civilian casualties in Syria:

Q:  Okay.  So, you didn’t talk to anybody on the ground and nobody visited the site. 

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A Clash in Syria Could Jeopardize the Iran Nuclear Deal and More


As the Trump administration enters its sixth month, fears that it would unilaterally rip up its predecessor’s landmark Iran nuclear agreement are beginning to fade.

But the chances for confrontation between the United States and the Islamic Republic remain worrisomely high as the two sides test each other’s defenses and proxies in regional conflicts.…   continue »

The Knives Are Out for Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster


This story is being cross-posted with Foreign Policy.

Inside the White House, opponents of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s second national security adviser, want him out. This week, they’ve made their campaign against him public, leaking to reporters details about the rocky relationship he has with his boss and trying to paint him as someone hell-bent on overseas nation-building projects that are doomed to fail.…   continue »

What Military Actions Are Trump’s vs. Obama Holdovers?


President Donald Trump has been in office for 83 days, and almost everywhere you look, the US military is escalating its operations. US warships are steaming toward North Korea, airstrikes against al-Qaeda in Yemen have ramped up, and, in the biggest show of force so far, the Trump administration bombed a Syrian airfield last week.  continue »

UK Supreme Court Judgment on Extra-Territorial Detention in Iraq and Afghanistan


Today, the UK Supreme Court gave judgment (full text) in the joined appeals of Al Waheed v Ministry of Defence and Serdar Mohammed v Ministry of Defence (in which I represented the First Interveners, with Paul Luckhurst). It is the latest in the post-Al Skeini line of cases in which English courts, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have grappled with the application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to extra-territorial military operations carried out pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).…   continue »