Understanding Obama’s Dilemma: Key Articles on Taliban Advances, CIA Role, Karzai’s Brother, Magnitude of U.S. and U.N. Failures

The situation in Afghanistan is desperate. (Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post, September 14, 2009).

The U.S. tilt toward Karzai during the electoral process may be related to CIA ties to his brother and operations in Kandahar and the South. (See Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen, New York Times, October 27, 2009)

Reports of a U.S. deal with the Pakistani military to withdraw from negotiations with Karzai and Abdullah in exchange for Pakistan military mediation with the Taliban remain unrebutted, and should be fully investigated by U.S. and Western media. (Syed Saleem Shahzad, Pakistan bureau chief, Asia Times Online, November 6, 2009)

A sharply critical analysis of U.S. policy, by a leading regional expert, details the catastrophic nature of U.S. and U.N. diplomatic failures in Afghanistan to date. (Chibli Mallat, Law Page Editor, The Daily Star, November 12, 2009)

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is an international lawyer who has taught innternational law, human rights, and comparative law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), and an international development practitioner who has worked on human rights and judicial reform projects in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and in Russia. He has also worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in Europe, the Middle East, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Observer speaks fluent French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, in addition to English. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University, and a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in International Law from Harvard University. As an undergraduate, he studied modern European history at Stanford, where he won the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best honors thesis in history.