None of the claimed long term objectives for the war in Afghanistan, either from the Bush or Obama administrations, have been achieved.
Retaliation after the killing of more than 130 children in Peshawar targeted the Khyber tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. The Army claims at least 77 Pakistani Taliban were killed.
Tuesday's attack on a military-run school in Peshawar is Pakistan's bloodiest terror incident in several years. Last week saw a similar attack on a much smaller scale in Kabul.
Most of the dead are young students. Pakistani militants say they targeted the military-run institution in Peshawar in retaliation for military offensives in northwestern tribal areas.
President Obama's dismissal of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today is the latest sign of the president's growing hawkishness in the face of unresolved conflicts in the Middle East.
Opium output in Afghanistan, the world's largest producer, is forecast this year to be 17 percent higher than in 2013, possibly because security personnel were pulled off opium crop eradication duty.
The Taliban attacked two Afghan Army buses in the capital today, killing at least seven. On Tuesday, the US and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed to allow US and NATO forces to remain in the country beyond 2014.
The pact, along with a similar deal between NATO and Afghanistan, will allow Western troops to stay in Afghanistan past the end of this year. It also means that foreign aid can resume flowing into Afghanistan – a critical need for the country.
A powersharing deal inked by rival candidates paves the way for former finance minister Ashraf Ghani to succeed President Hamid Karzai. The runner-up in the disputed election will remain a powerful player.
Pakistani officials repelled a bloody assault on Karachi's international airport that left at least 28 dead. The Taliban have claimed responsibility and said it was revenge for a US drone strike.
The Taliban released a propaganda clip of the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Some hope the exchange can create an opening for peace.
As foreign troops draw down and a new president takes office, the sort of dealmaking among Afghans that could promote stability might actually grow easier. A triumphant Taliban march on Kabul – or even their old stronghold of Kandahar – is unlikely.
The Taliban attacks could threaten the credibility of the presidential vote. One international poll monitoring group has pulled its observers due to violence, and more could follow.