The Power of Checklists

by Ahmed Humayun In The Checklist Manifesto – How to Get Things Right (2009), Atul Gawande – surgeon, Harvard professor, and New Yorker staff writer – recommends the strategic use of checklists to manage complexity. Gawande notes that while most domains of human activity in the modern era have witnessed a striking expansion in knowledge,…

‘Radical Islam’

by Ahmed Humayun “Mr. Obama's refusal to speak of “radical Islam” also betrays his failure to understand the sources of Islamic State's legitimacy and thus its allure to young Muslim men….Mr. Obama's refusal to acknowledge the real nature of the Islamist threat creates an opening for Mr. Trump's immigration ban. It suggests to Americans that…

Who are the terrorists?

by Ahmed Humayun Two weeks ago the United Arab Emirates (UAE) put dozens of Muslim groups around the world on its terrorism list. While the list includes organizations such as Al Qaeda, al-Nusra front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which is uncontroversial, it also includes many other cultural and civic organizations…

Imran Khan’s Misstep

by Ahmed Humayun The 2013 elections in Pakistan gained the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) the government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province as well as the third most prominent position in parliament. This striking success was a vindication of Imran Khan, PTI's leader, who had struggled for many years to break into a sclerotic system dominated by autocratic political…

Pakistan’s War – Part II

by Ahmed Humayun (This is the second post on Pakistan's struggle against militancy. Part I is here). To prevail against an insurrection, a state must fight on many fronts. It must construct a comprehensive military and political strategy, strengthen its institutional capacity to fight an internal war, and mobilize public support for a protracted struggle.…