Soviet Union

Taliban, the Next Generation

Taliban, the Next Generation

Anas Haqqani, the youngest son of a jihadist commander who fought the Russians and the Americans, tells Newlines that the Taliban has learned from its mistakes. But can the Taliban leave their brutal past behind?

How America Lost Afghanistan

How America Lost Afghanistan

Over its 10 years of aiding the mujahedeen, the U.S. learned nothing about the nuances of Afghanistan’s people, history or culture — a problem that would continue to plague most of our actions for the 20 years the U.S. spent in Afghanistan.

The Soviet Origins of Putin’s Mercenaries

The Soviet Origins of Putin’s Mercenaries

Where did the notorious Wagner Group come from, and why has Vladimir Putin relied so heavily on Russian mercenaries in the last decade? Ruslan Trad argues it’s because they’re good for business, and they have a proven track record — from Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.

Ruslan Trad
What the CIA Did (and Didn’t Do) in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan

What the CIA Did (and Didn’t Do) in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan

Western leftists think the CIA created al Qaeda by helping the mujahideen shoot down Russian helicopters. They’re wrong. The CIA program to arm anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen with Stinger missiles saved lives.

Emran Feroz
The Syrian Armenians Who Fled One War Zone For Another

The Syrian Armenians Who Fled One War Zone For Another

For Syrian Armenians, the apparent entry of their compatriots into the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict seems to confirm all their suspicions about the role of Turkey, which also supported rebel factions in Syria, and that the true purpose of helping Azerbaijan retake territory is Turkish irredentism.

Tom Mutch
You Don’t Have to Be Recruited to Work for Russian Intelligence

You Don’t Have to Be Recruited to Work for Russian Intelligence

Confidential contacts can be virtually anyone: politicians, diplomats, scientists, businessmen, engineers, and reporters. They have no state secrets to pass on, and the safest way of engaging them is in plain sight, under the guise of their everyday work.

Michael Weiss