In September 2009, the second platoon of Charlie Company arrived in Afghanistan with 42 men. Ten months later, nearly half had been killed or wounded, mostly in the Arghandab Valley—a key to controlling southern Afghanistan. Now these 82nd Airborne troops were getting ready to leave the Arghandab behind. They had one more dangerous job to do: a joint mission with the untried artillery unit that would replace them patrolling the fields, orchards, and villages they called the Devil’s Playground.
Riding the waves and testing Hamas’s limits
Whale pizzas and polar bears: A man on a mission at the Arctic Circle
Cambodia tries to turn its bloody history into a sightseeing boom.
For one close-knit National Guard Unit from Arkansas, Afghanistan hits home.
Gallic ingenuity has turned failing farms and rundown châteaux into hidden tourist gems.
Tony Blair’s memoir reveals him to be neither a cynic nor an innocent, but a man of some principle.
High anxiety amid giant Tree Ferns and landslides in Bolivia’s little-traveled—and dazzling—Carrasco National Park
Mongolia revives its strongman. Will the hordes follow?
The author returns to his old Tokyo neighborhood and finds an inward-looking country that has lost its ambition.
For the Obama administration, the prospect of a nuclearized Iran is dismal to contemplate— it would create major new national-security challenges and crush the president’s dream of ending nuclear proliferation. But the view from Jerusalem is still more dire: a nuclearized Iran represents, among other things, a threat to Israel’s very existence. In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? As Washington and Jerusalem study each other intensely, here’s an inside look at the strategic calculations on both sides—and at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold.
As shipping traffic booms, scientists scramble to protect the right whale from extinction.
Iran can be contained. The path to follow? A course laid out half a century ago by a young Henry Kissinger, who argued that American chances of checking revolutionary powers such as the Soviet Union depended on our credible willingness to engage them in limited war.
Confessions of a fake businessman from Beijing
Italy’s Northern League party exploits a brutal crime for a dubious law.
They blow each other up by mistake. They bungle even simple schemes. They get intimate with cows and donkeys. Our terrorist enemies trade on the perception that they’re well trained and religiously devout, but in fact, many are fools and perverts who are far less organized and sophisticated than we imagine. Can being more realistic about who our foes actually are help us stop the truly dangerous ones?
In the 1990s, Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he’s trying to help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish foreign-run “charter cities” within their borders. Romer’s idea is unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain’s historic lease of Hong Kong. And against all odds, he just might make it happen.
Witches are overwhelming the courts in the Central African Republic. And that may be a good thing.
The gruff, boastful art of claiming Indonesia’s surf as your own
Can a battle of the bands help end a brutal insurgency in India?
All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built,ports deepened, commercial contracts signed—all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities seems insatiable. Do China’s grand designs promise the transformation,at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers.
How an Afghan pilot became a cosmonaut—and a fugitive
Haiti’s famed Barbancourt rum factory has survived by taking self-sufficiency to an extreme.
Kai Bird’s affecting personal history of the Arab-Israeli tangle