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    William Milam

    Ambassador William Milam is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC and a former US diplomat who was Ambassador to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Chief of Mission in Liberia.

Author's Posts

  • Human Rights Sanctions On Bangladesh —A Prediction Or A Warning?0

      by William Milam     January 22, 2022 As far as I could tell, most Bangladeshi leaders were not particularly upset that their country did not get invited to the Summit on Democracy held by US President Joe Biden the last week of December. But they were outraged by the sanctions the US placed, just

  • American Dystopia0

      by William Milam 10 January 2022 It snowed late last night in Washington: perhaps a fitting end, in some metaphoric sense, to the day that marked one year since the January 6, 2020 attack on the US Capitol by the Trumpian mob trying violently – if ineptly – to overturn the 2020 election of Joe

  • Pakistan: Absent From The Summit On Democracy0

    by William Milam US President Joe Biden held a virtual summit meeting on democracy a week ago. It is the first of two such summits; the second will be held next year. 110 countries were invited this year. Readers may be surprised at the large number; I know I was after hearing for the last decade

  • Is Authoritarianism Capturing The Political Narrative?0

    by William Milam  November 20, 2021 Anne Applebaum, the well-known and highly respected historian of authoritarianism, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2020 book, “The Twilight of Democracy,” begins a recent article in The Atlantic magazine with the words, “If the 20th Century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of

  • Afghanistan: The Taliban In The Land Of Oz0

    by William Milam        8 November 2021 I often look at real-life current events through the mirror of my childhood memories for the beginnings of wisdom about these events and the beginning of much more complicated analyses by others that guide governments’ policy decisions. These memories can never replace the much more sophisticated

  • Dysfunctional Politics: The Path To Despair And Authoritarianism0

    by William Milam October 9, 2021 Earlier this week, I tuned in to a webinar on the current political situation in Tunisia. I have never been to Tunisia, except for a brief stop at the Tunis airport many years ago on my way to West Africa. I lived in its near neighbor, Libya, for a time


    by William Milam      26 September 2021 Well, the Taliban have been in charge of Afghanistan for a month now. So far, so good, we hear their supporters intoning. Civil war hasn’t broken out, primarily because there is no credible, unified opposition to pose a military challenge to the new government.  Mass murder hasn’t

  • Afghanistan Takeover: Did The Real Taliban Just Emerge From The Closet?0

    by William Milam September 11, 2021 After two weeks of mystery about which Taliban the world would be dealing with, we learned on Tuesday the list of those Taliban leaders who will form the “interim government” that will rule the country for however long this interim is. The makeup of the group leads to the conclusion

  • Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan: Be Careful What You Wish For0

    The jubilation Khan and like-minded Pakistanis expressed may turn to consternation as the Taliban tighten their grip on Afghanistan  by William Milam  September 4, 2021 https://www.thefridaytimes.com/taliban-takeover-of-afghanistan-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/ Imran khan really said that the Taliban victory in Afghanistan broke the chains of slavery. I didn’t believe that he could have said something so anti-historical and offensive until I

  • Will Biden’s Pride At Being Right On Afghanistan Lead To His Fall?0

    by William Milam   August 28, 2021 The Bible says that “Pride goeth before a fall.” So, was it pride that motivated Joe Biden, our cool and calculating president, our FDR of the 21st century, to miscalculate so badly the easily foreseeable consequences of his decision to abandon Afghanistan? This may be a question that haunts him, and


    by William Milam     22 August 2021 We awakened Sunday morning in California to headlines screaming of the Afghanistan “collapse;” President Ghani had fled earlier in the morning and the Taliban had entered Kabul and now controlled  entire country. Nothing except the speed of this latest event surprised us, but everything in Afghanistan in the past

  • Afghanistan, the rock and the hard place0

    In a 2011 visit to Afghanistan, then-Vice President Joe Biden listens to Afghan Brig. Gen. Amlaqullah Patyani, commander of Kabul Military Training Center. In the center is Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander of the International Security Force. As president, Biden must determine whether to soon withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.    DEFENSE DEPARTMENT  

  • Searching for a Potemkin Village Opposition0

    by William Milam April 9, 2021   “Potemkin village” is actually a term that originated in politics, and thus, for this article, a very appropriate term to describe one interesting recent, possibly rhetorical, sidestep in the authoritarian march of Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League government she runs. According to Wikipedia, a Potemkin Village is “any

  • Bangladesh: Censorship through internet chicanery0

    William Milam explains how governments can misuse copyright law as a tool for censorship  by William Milam  March 19, 2021 Two weeks ago, I received an email from a good friend who is the publisher of two online surveys of South Asia news articles and analyses, as well as a print quarterly journal. He forwarded an


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