Iran Almost Invaded Afghanistan in 1998
In late 1998 Iran readied its armed forces for an invasion of Afghanistan. Last-ditch diplomacy defused tensions and prevented a potentially destructive conflict. On Aug. 8, 1998, the Taliban, which then ruled around 90 percent of Afghanistan, seized the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. During the invasion, Taliban forces murdered 10... Read more
The Stories War Tells Me
I’m here in Chicago, 7,000 miles and 15 years away from Jalalabad, a desolate town in southwestern Afghanistan. Yet sometimes it seems to me as if it were yesterday, or even tomorrow, and anything but thousands of miles distant. There are moments when it feels like I never left... Read more
America Is Winning in Afghanistan
October 2018 marked the 17th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Despite near unanimity when the war began, mainstream political opinion now seems to be that the United States has “lost” the war. “Seventeen years into the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, Americans remain pessimistic about U.S. efforts... Read more
A Simple Equation Proves the U.S. Armed Forces Have Triumphed in the War on Terror
4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely. 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated... Read more
‘The Beast’ Is the Best Tank Movie You’ve Never Seen
This story originally appeared on Nov. 21, 2014. The Beast should be a terrible movie. It’s a film about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made by Americans in 1988. Kevin Reynolds—the man behind the disastrous flop Waterworld—directed it. Stephen Baldwin plays a major supporting role. On its face, The... Read more
In Afghanistan, Fewer Civilian Casualties Is Still Too Many
Civilian casualties dropped slightly in Afghanistan in 2017, according to the latest annual report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. UNAMA recorded 10,453 civilian casualties for the year — a nine-percent dip compared to 2016. The nine-percent decrease was a result of fewer injuries and death in ground... Read more
Mark Richards Found Beauty in Afghanistan, Then Afghanistan Almost Killed Him
Mark Richards is a survivor, but Afghanistan almost killed him. At the age of 28, the photojournalist sneaked across the border from Pakistan. It was the early 1980s and he was making his living taking pictures of war. He’d spent the past few years covering all the conflicts Southeast... Read more
Islamic State Blasts Afghanistan’s Spy Agency
A training facility of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s spy agency, came under severe attack on late on the morning of Dec. 18. 2017. The nearly five-hour assault was carried out by two heavily-armed insurgents. Islamic State’s regional group claimed responsibility. “A white Toyota full of explosives rammed... Read more
Netflix’s ‘The Punisher’ Is the Vetsploitation Story America Needs
This story contains spoilers for The Punisher Wetwork like this always happens in a basement. There’s the sound of flesh on flesh and a splash of blood on the concrete. There are blackouts, ghosts of the dead and the street noise of Kandahar. There’s a man business casual covered... Read more
How a Failed Drug War Will Defeat Trump’s Afghan Adventure
After nine months of confusion, chaos and cascading tweets, Donald Trump’s White House has finally made one thing crystal clear. The United States is staying in Afghanistan to fight and — so the administration insists — win. “The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no... Read more
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