Today’s N.S.A. is the Amazon of intelligence agencies, as different from the 1950s agency as that online behemoth is from a mom-and-pop bookstore. It sucks the contents from fiber-optic cables, sits on telephone switches and Internet hubs, digitally burglarizes laptops and plants bugs on smartphones around the globe.
To some American security analysts, the furious reaction was another sign of the perversity and ingratitude that they say have scarred Pakistan’s relationship with the United States . . . . To many Pakistanis, though, it is the United States that is double-dealing.
The U.S. has failed in the battle against Afghanistan's opium trade. The drug crisis has devastated the country---a recently released report estimates that 1.6 million people, or 5.3 percent of the population, are drug users, according to this story from Azam Ahmed of the New York Times. Ernesto Londoño of the Washington Post quotes Haroon Rashid Sherzad, Afghanistan’s deputy counternarcotics minister on the security implications:
“The concern I have is whether the international community realizes the importance of this problem for global instability and security,” he said in an interview, singling out regional neighbors in particular. “They should understand that the drug economy is fueling terrorism, destabilizing the region and the global village. It is vanishing the achievements of the past 10 years.”