Foreign Policy

Dangerous Graft

A look at how samovar politics, mixed with rampant corruption, have helped turn Dagestan into the most deadly of Russia's North Caucasus republics.

Living on Afghan Time

A village timekeeper's historical narrative of Afghanistan depicts elements of the past that offer predictions for the future.

Revolution's End

On the eve of a crucial constitutional referendum, Egypt's youth movement, pivotal in moving hundreds of thousands to protest and revolt in Tahrir Square, is struggling to figure out the next move.

The Tale of Forty Maidens

Women's shelters in Afghanistan offer little protection and no "long turn assurances" for women fleeing domestic violence.

Cold and Violent

Just months before the first U.S. troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan, the country's north, once its safest part, is now under threat from the Taliban.

Cold clasps the loess plains that curve toward the great Oxus. It has whitewashed with snow the saw-tooth jaws of the Hindu Kush. It has eaten raw the fingers of street vendors and stunted the emerald sprouts of winter wheat, barely visible against the dun monochrome of the dormant northern desert. Afghan friends tell me this has been the coldest winter here in a decade.

It has also been the most violent.

A Fear of Three Letters

In Ingushetia, people have reason to fear Russia's shadowy security forces as much or more than the Islamist militants. Indeed, it has become one of the most unstable spots in the North Caucasus.

The Secret History of Beslan

What appears to be a religious war or an independence struggle in the Caucasus is, in reality, deep-seated ethinic conflict and hatred.

Islamists on Trial

A new level of viciousness by Islamist insurgents pervades Russia's bloody southern republics in the North Caucasus.

Blood Relations

The families of suspected Islamist guerrillas in the North Caucasus have always faced harassment from Russian security forces. Now a shadowy vigilante group has started targeting them as well.

Sword or Samovar

Though media attention is scarce, a guerrilla war taking place across the North Caucasus has ramped up. Killings are commonplace as Russia fights to retain control over the Islamist insurgency.