Open Letter: The Response (UPDATED)

After a slow beginning, the open letter to President Obama that I co-signed has finally started to get some media coverage and blogger/commentator reaction. I'm listing here all the different places it's shown up so far, and I'll try to keep it as up-to-date as possible.

Note, too, that the list of those who have signed continues to grow as word about the letter spreads. We are now over 50 names.

Reprints of the Letter

Main/Official Site

War is a

The Guardian @ Comment is Free

The Daily Telegraph

Jean Guisnel translates the letter into French

'War in Context' blog republishes part of the letter

The official Afghanistan Operation blog of the British Ministry of Defence reprints part of the letter and links to the Daily Telegraph reprint

The UK's Stop the War Coalition reprints the full letter

Anthony Loewenstein reprints the full letter

E-Ariana (a news wire service) reprints the full letter

Comment and Explanation from those who signed

Gerard Russell explains why he signed over on his personal blog

Four of those who signed answer some questions posed to us by a blogger/journalist

Gilles Dorronsoro was on BBC World Service Radio (no link available)

Daniel Korski explains why he signed (on his blog at The Spectator)

Joshua Foust explains why he signed (and why he's changed his mind on negotiations) over at

I explain on BBC World Service a bit about the context of the open letter (44:23mins in)


"No decisive victory one year into Afghan surge" - Associated Press (republished elsewhere, including at

"US surge in Afghanistan 'not working'" - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Afghan insurgents kill six foreign soldiers" - AFP posted on Khaleej Times

"Obama "Must Talk to Afghan Taliban"" - Asharq al-Awsat (reposting AFP)

"Des experts internationaux appellent Obama à négocier avec les talibans" - AFP posted on Le Monde website (in French)

"Obama must talk to Afghan Taliban, experts say" - AFP published on Emirates 24/7

"Academics, experts appeal to Obama to back Taliban talks" - Myra MacDonald writes a piece for Reuters about the letter, quoting extensively.

"6 Nato soldiers killed" - The Morning Star Online

"Letter to Obama calls for change in Afghan strategy" - Daily Times (Pakistan)

"Pak intelligentsia urges Obama to change Afghan strategy" - (needless to say, we are not the 'Pak intelligentsia')

Allvoices runs a news piece on the letter

Pakistan Today, a newspaper, outlines the main points of the letter

The Century Foundation feature Praveen's critique of the letter on their Afghanistan page

Dawn newspaper (Pakistan) features the letter

France 24 cover the letter on their website news wire

Blogging and Analysis

Malou Innocent mentions the letter and part-quotes it in a piece entitled "Spinning Us to Death" - The National Interest

Tim Mathews disagrees (reposted here), but finds some common ground here and there

Max Boot strongly disagrees

"Top Analysts Blame American Intransigence In Not Talking To Taliban" - Steve Hynd agrees over at (reposted at Rethink Afghanistan

"Commentary: Vietnam syndrome?" - Arnaud de Borchgrave comments (mostly sympathetically) for

Christian Bleuer mentions the letter, but declines to comment

Ann Marlowe sees an opportunity for satire in the open letter

Paul Pillar cites the open letter in the context of the strategic review and wonders why there hasn't been more criticism

Tea and Politics cites the letter and equates talks in Afghanistan to 'negotiation with the Nazis'

Robert Naiman suggests the 'progress' cited in the strategic review may not be all it seems, citing the open letter (@ the Huffington Post)

The 'Obama Blog' suggests the US president is ignoring the 'Afghanistan-Pakistan reality'

'The Lift' blog on 'legal issues in the fight against terrorism' cites the letter in a post

Jason Ditz of cites the letter in a post about 'bleak metrics'

Hugh Pope updates a post about Deedee Derksen's new book 'Tea with the Taliban' and cites the letter

The Council on Foreign Relations cite the letter in an analysis brief looking at the post-Holbrooke strategy

Compatible Creatures blog cites the letter in a discussion of Holbrooke's alleged last words

Jayshree Bajoria (Council on Foreign Relations) cites the letter in a post on her Huffington Post blog

Small Wars Journal's forum (Small Wars Council) mentions the letter and kicks off a very frank discussion

Praveen Swami (The Daily Telegraph) disagrees with the suggestions contained the letter

Columbia University Press' blog cites the letter

'American Everyman' cites the letter

Dr Mohammad Taqi (Daily Times, Pakistan) cites the letter and suggests both it and the strategic review misconceive the environment

'Rehmat's World' cites and quotes part of the letter

Afghan Reactions disagrees with the letter (in Dari, and interesting as one of the few Afghan reactions so far -- aside from those Afghans who have already signed the letter)

8am or Hasht-e Sobh daily newspaper also disagrees with the premise of the article (also in Dari)