Washington–ForeignPolicyConcepts Sheldon Himelfarb is the President and CEO of the PeaceTech Lab. The Lab was created by the U.S. Institute of Peace to further advance USIP’s work at the intersection of technology, media, and data to help reduce violent conflict around the world.
New York City–After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, voices began to rise up within the Islamic world, calling for young men to travel to Afghanistan to defend their Muslim brothers and sisters. Many heeded the call, and it is estimated that anywhere from 20,000 to 35,000 foreign fighters – known as “Arab Afghans” – traveled to Afghanistan to fight the Red Army. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1988, many of these foreign mujahideen remained active, with some remaining in Afghanistan, and others returning to their home countries as folk heroes.
Washington–When I came to Washington in 2002, the Department of Defense was among Turkey’s best friends inside the U.S. government. The Pentagon considered Turkey a staunch ally, and uniformed U.S. personnel had a deep affection for Turkey going back to U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the Cold War, and then in the Balkans in the 1990s.