Category: Thomas Barfield

A mysterious skull adds new twist to old legend of Kabul’s ‘cruel king’

Washington Post Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences Nearly everyone here knows the legend. Kabul residents recite it at random moments, whenever they catch sight of Sher Darwaza Mountain in the distance… Expert quote: “When skeletons or skulls come up, it’s easy to weave stories around them. Often they are comments on what is […]

Amid Kunduz Takeover, Who Is Funding The Taliban? Iran, Drug Money Fuels Afghanistan Conflict

International Business Times Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences Afghan forces, supported by NATO airstrikes, stepped up an intense campaign Tuesday to retake the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz a day after Taliban militants drove out Afghan forces and raised their trademark white flag throughout the strategically significant city… Expert quote: “People living in Kunduz had been complaining to […]

U.S. Soldiers Say They Were Ordered To Ignore Sexual Assults On Afghan Boys

MTV News Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences The whole point of keeping some U.S. troops in Afghanistan was to help local Afghan military forces continue fighting against the Taliban and make the nation safer for its citizens. But what happens when the very troops you’re training and supporting are committing crimes that rival […]

ESPN suspends Curt Schilling after controversial tweet

Boston Globe (subscription required) Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences Already steeped in controversy stemming from a failed multi-million-dollar video-game venture, former Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling has managed to stir up just a little bit more… Expert quote: “What it tends to show is that ignorance, in a […]

As election looms, Afghanistan’s history offers lessons – and hope

Christian Science Monitor Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences As foreign troops draw down and a new president takes office, the sort of dealmaking among Afghans that could promote stability might actually grow easier. A triumphant Taliban march on Kabul – or even their old stronghold of Kandahar – is unlikely… Expert quote: “Gorbachev didn’t […]

Afghanistan After America: In Isolated Kabul, Power but Little Control

World Politics Review Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences In 2001, the Taliban were thought to be all but defeated with the fall of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, little more than a month after the U.S. launched its first airstrikes on the country… Expert quote: “Afghanistan is potentially set up for trouble with that kind […]

What is a loya jirga anyways?

Christian Science Monitor Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences A grand meeting of Afghan tribal figures and warlords, over 2,000 people in all, is debating the future of the US military presence in Afghanistan… Expert quote: “Only when (Khalilzaid) strong-armed the king into throwing his support behind Karzai did the leadership contest end. The obviously forced […]

Afghanistan’s Big Tent Politics: TIME Explains the Loya Jirga

Time Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences Thousands of tribal elders from across Afghanistan will gather in Kabul on Thursday for a Loya Jirga, which is Pashto for grand council… Expert quote: “There are no losers, that’s the essence of the Loya Jirga. It’s a consensus thing. It’s not a question of two-thirds majority; […]

Can Taliban Founder’s Release Spark Afghan Peace?

Defense One Thomas Barfield, College of Arts & Sciences Now that Pakistan has released Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy commander and founding member speculation is growing over whether Afghanistan’s most notable militant would finally come to the negotiating table for peace talks… Expert quote: “One of the problems is we don’t know where […]