Three American presidents have spent nearly 16 years alternately cajoling, coaxing, threatening and bombing Pakistan, all with a goal of trying to change the Pakistani government’s decisions about the factions it supports in Afghanistan’s desperate civil war.
Did a group of bishops just disarm one of the most explosive political problems in Africa?
Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve, with crowds waiting anxiously in the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Catholic bishops announced a deal that could calm a very turbulent nation.
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — In a mansion along the Congo River, with a collection of expensive watches, expensive motorcycles and a chimpanzee in a cage, Joseph Kabila, the president of this vast and troubled country, should be packing up.
A Former Taliban Minister Senses a Growing Demand for Afghan Peace” (The Saturday Profile, Sept. 10), about Agha Jan Motasim, a former Taliban leader, reports that “an early attempt to seek reconciliation” between the Taliban and the Afghan government “through the governor of Kandahar was rejected, so the Taliban had no other choice but to fight.”
In June of 1775, when John Quincy Adams was almost 8 years old, his mother, the indomitable Abigail, took him by the hand up a peak in Braintree, Mass., to view from afar the battle of Bunker Hill. Over 70 years later, in February 1848, “Old Man Eloquent,” as he was then called, collapsed at his desk in the House of Representatives and an obscure one-term congressman named Abraham Lincoln was assigned to the committee making the funeral arrangements. Many of the eulogies to Adams identified him as the last remaining link to the founding generation.
The United States should work with the Afghan government to help young Afghans build a future for themselves in their country. But America's responsibility to them — after 14 years of failing to bring peace and security to Afghanistan — goes beyond that.
While the U.S. was operating in Afghanistan, it created a parallel public service sector to the Afghan government that was larger and better paid. The U.S. and NATO military and aid programs employed thousands of young Afghans, newly educated in schools the West paid for.