I Swear I’m Not a Nazi — I Just Like the Uniforms
So, Nazis are bad guys. That’s not a controversial take. They rounded up people and exterminated them in death camps. They despised democracy and free expression. Millions of people of all colors and creeds died fighting them. Reasonable people look at that and understand — yes, Nazis are evil.... Read more
Israel May Be Trafficking Former Eritrean Slaves
This story originally appeared on March 15, 2016. In Uganda’s capital Kampala, a sign in Eritrean script points the way to a back alley. There’s a small hotel here with only a few rooms, most of them empty. In room number eight an old man sits on a worn-out... Read more
Ibrahim Was a Slave on the Eritrea Border When He Saw His Chance
“It really is beautiful,” Ibrahim says as he takes a sip of his tea. He’s talking about his homeland of Eritrea. We’re sitting together at a small Ethiopian Café in Burien, Washington near the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Ibrahim is a 22-year-old refugee with dark curly hair and intense eyes. He’s... Read more
The CIA Haunted Me For a Half-Century
In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to a massive expansion of its intelligence infrastructure, particularly of the emerging technologies for digital surveillance, agile drones and biometric identification. In 2010, almost a decade... Read more
How a Pink Flower Defeated a Superpower
This story originally appeared on Feb. 22, 2016. After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 15 years, deploying 100,000 of... Read more
Iraq, Not Afghanistan, Is America’s Longest War
There’s no question the United States’ war in Afghanistan — now entering its 16th year — ranks high on the list of America’s longest wars. But does it deserve the unenviable moniker of “America’s longest war?” Hardly. In fact, that title belongs to a conflict most Americans view not... Read more
The Geopolitics of Crazy
The United States has beaten its head against the wall of North Korea for more than 70 years, and that wall has changed little indeed as a result. The United States, meanwhile, has suffered one headache after another. Over the last several weeks, the head banging has intensified. North... Read more
The U.S. Military Is Cozying Up to Sudan, of All Countries
The United States seems to be working toward courting an unexpected ally in its operations in Africa. On Aug. 9, 2017, Alexander Laskaris — an American diplomat that works for the U.S. military’s Germany-based Africa Command — visited Sudan for a series of meetings with military and diplomatic officials.... Read more
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Donald Trump
Let me try to get this straight — from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet’s indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours. We... Read more
Breaking Down the North Korea Crisis
Whatever you might have heard over the last several days, the United States isn’t about to be engulfed in a ball of nuclear fire, courtesy of Kim Jong Un. It’s a little more complicated than that. That’s not to suggest that the crisis on the Korean peninsula is a... Read more
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