NATO’s Afghan Exit Plan…One Year On

Last November, when I first started blogging, I published a two part post titled Afghan Security Forces: The Weak Link in NATO’s Exit Strategy.  As I contemplated what to write in response to this week’s news out of Lisbon it struck me that NATO has done virtually nothing to address the fundamental flaw in the Afghan exit plan it first conceived of a year ago.  So I’m republishing my original critique because sadly, the points I raised then are just as applicable now.  Continue reading

Paying Ransoms: A Dangerous Precedent

Kidnap and Ransom scenarios are extremely high risk and rarely straight forward.  There is no guarantee that paying a ransom will lead to a safe hostage release.  As the families of Paul and Rachel Chandler learned it can spawn more demands for cash, a practice known as ‘double-dipping’.  Gut wrenching as that blow must have been, the Chandlers were lucky.  Some kidnappers take the money and kill.

I can’t fault any family for doing everything in their power to free their loved ones.  But ransom payments do make the world a more dangerous place. Continue reading