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Nicholas Schmidle

Nicholas Schmidle is a freelance writer and author of To Live or To Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years Inside Pakistan. He was awarded the 2008 Kurt Schork Award for freelance journalism, based on his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation.



Homegrown Jihad

A simple Islamic arch in silhouette is near the grave where Shirwa Ahmed is buried at the Garden of Eden Cemetery in Burnsville, Minnesota. The twenty-six-year-old Minneapolis man’s remains were returned to his family after the FBI identified [...]

We Are Ready to Die

The riot-damaged chamber of commerce.Peshawar and Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2008: Mohammad Alam, an elderly, wrinkled man wrapped in a tattered blanket, guarded his street corner in Peshawar last Friday, while angry mobs burned a motorcycle, rans [...]

Democracy is Not a Postcard

1I took the elevator up. Afghanistan doesn’t have many elevators—after years of war with the Soviet Union followed by more than a decade of Taliban control, most of the country remains in shambles, leading one American pilot during the invasion t [...]

Waiting for the Worst: Baluchistan, 2006

Soldier of Pakistan’s paramilitary force, silhouetted against the newly built Gwadar port in February 2007 (SHAKIL ADIL / AP). On a typically hot morning last October, about a dozen people squeezed into Majid Sohrabi’s office, sitting on t [...]