International forces in Afghanistan are preparing to hand over responsibility for security to Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama has argued that battlefield successes since 2009 have enabled this transition and that with it, "this long war will come to a responsible end."
Stephen Biddle argues that the use of air power in Libya is "intervention on the cheap" that allows the United States to attempt to protect its values and interests in the region wihtout a serious commitment.
The Taliban needs to be convinced of a firm U.S. commitment in Afghanistan before it will negotiate a settlement, says CFR's Stephen Biddle, and any deal will have to also involve the Pakistani, U.S., and Afghan governments.
Crucial to the success of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is dealing with the country's "predatory misgovernance," says CFR's Stephen Biddle. Targeting U.S. contracting practices is a good place to start, he says.
While senior military officials are urging support for Afghanistan operations, Afghans are fearful about the Kandahar offensive and uncertain about U.S. plans to start withdrawing troops in July 2011, says CFR's Stephen Biddle.
President Obama's first National Security Strategy departs from Bush administration doctrine by redefining the war against terror groups and embracing multilateralism, and may expect too much from global partners, say CFR experts in an analytical roundup.
After months of harsh words, the White House's conciliatory tone during the Afghan president's visit was calibrated to encourage Karzai to behave more like a "wartime leader and less like an innocent bystander," says CFR's Stephen Biddle.
Two key issues in Afghanistan are whether President Hamid Karzai will implement reforms and whether the American public is willing to invest the time it will take for a successful counterinsurgency, says CFR defense expert Stephen Biddle.
CFR's top defense policy expert Stephen Biddle says President Obama's announcement of a date for U.S. forces to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan could draw fire from wary Democrats, but also conveys that the U.S. "is uncomfortable with long stays."