Will the Taliban’s Opium Ban Last?

Economic and Political Forces Derailed Afghanistan’s Past Attempts at Prohibition. Today the Future of the Cash Crop Is Uncertain

Do prohibitions ever work?

The 1919 Volstead Act prohibiting the production and sale of alcohol across the United States failed to stop people from drinking, and instead fostered an economy of smuggling and home-brewing. Richard Nixon’s “war on drugs” didn’t stop drug addiction; on the contrary, since the 1971 Controlled Substances Act, drug use has increased and both illicit and legal drugs have become more available and diverse in the U.S. than they were 50 years ago.

And as far as I know, the ban on Big Gulps in New York City …

Afghans Built This City

Laborers From Across the Border Have Left an Indelible Mark on Urban Pakistan

Rahimullah waits. In order to get picked for a day’s work, it’s best to get started early. He’s said his morning prayers. Had breakfast. Eggs, bread, and tea. He’s walked …

When Kids Make Art, a Richer Story of War Emerges

The Stone Soup Refugee Project Helps Young People Move Beyond Empathy

The sea is stormy, please help me!

My wings are small, please help me!

The butterflies are afraid, please help me!

My world is ignored, …

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right

After Two Decades of Anti-Muslim Jokes and a Disastrous War, Humor Is Succeeding Where Politics Has Failed

A joke can be the best way to present real-life issues. Comedians can poke fun at the absurdity of the human condition, even take on topics that feel taboo—like America’s …

Leaving No One Behind—Interpreters Included | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Leaving No One Behind—Interpreters Included

As Troop Withdrawal Looms, U.S. Military Veterans Call to Get Allies Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Safely

Four months before the last American servicemembers withdraw from Afghanistan, retired U.S. Army Colonel Steve Miska spoke at a Zócalo/Pacific Council/USVAA event the day after Memorial Day. The topic: what …

Why Using Foreign Contractors Helps Prolong Foreign Wars

Farming Out Work to Non-U.S. Employees Fosters Corruption, Hampers Logistical Oversight, and Keeps the American Public Disengaged 

First it was sacks of rice. Then frozen chicken. Later, even a television. The goods were wrapped tightly in plastic bags and thrown in with the other trash in a …