Matthieu Aikins

14 articles
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Last Tango in Kabul

While war raged across Afghanistan, expats lived in a bubble of good times and easy money. But as the U.S. withdraws, life has taken a deadly turn.

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The Surge

The fight to vaccinate children in the border regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of an attempt to eradicate polio worldwide.

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The A-Team Killings

Last fall, a team of American Special Forces arrived in Nerkh, a district just west of Kabul. Six months later, amid allegations of torturing and murdering locals, the team was gone. Shortly after they left, the remains of 10 missing villagers were found outside their vacated base. An investigation into a possible war crime.

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Portrait of an Afghan Assassin

Investigating the spike in Afghan-on-American military murders.

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Enemy Inside the Wire: The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion

An account of the night last September when 15 Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan.

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Makers of War

How a corporate network engineer became one of Aleppo’s most prolific weapons manufacturers.

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The Doctor, the CIA, and the Blood of Bin Laden

The disappearance of the mysterious “Pakistani asset” that helped the CIA zero in on Bin Laden.

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Jamming Tripoli

Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network.

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The Siege of September 13

Inside the attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

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Turbo-Folk Tycoon

On the Balkan musical genre Turbo-Folk, its ties to Serbian ultranationalism, and the strongman nightclub owner who brought it to Croatia.

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Our Man in Kandahar

Abdul Raziq, a 33-year-old warlord, is an increasingly powerful player in Afghanistan and the recipient of substantial U.S. support. He may also be the perpetrator of a civilian massacre.

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Adams Fall

A bridge, a preventable leap, and the politics of barriers for “suicide hotspots.”

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The Master of Spin Boldak

An undercover report on Afghanistan’s drug-smuggling border police that is now heavily used for intelligence training.

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Last Stand in Kandahar

The apparatus of counterinsurgency and occupation has funneled billions of dollars into Afghanistan, and much of it has ended up in the hands of insurgents. For those who have profited—be it through aid, extortion, corruption or legitimate business—there is very little incentive to bring the conflict to an end.