Despite recent successes, unmanned drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan remain a controversial tactic. CFR's Micah Zenko says the Obama administration must shed new details on the "worst kept covert secret in the history of U.S. foreign policy."
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."
The coordinator of President Barack Obama's original Afghan policy, Bruce Riedel, says political and security changes in Afghanistan and "sticker shock" in Washington have contributed to delays in carrying out a new U.S. military strategy.
As debate over the size and scope of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan intensifies, military strategist Kimberly Kagan says the only way to ensure victory is a better-resourced counterinsurgency campaign focused on securing population centers.
Amid Afghanistan's uncertain security and political situation, Kabul-based analyst John Dempsey says U.S. officials should be prepared to commit more military and civilian resources to stave off resurgent Taliban forces.
As military planners review strategy in the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan, CFR Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle says victory will be dependent on improving the capacity of the beleaguered Afghan government.
President Obama's new strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan has drawn praise from U.S. forces and international allies. But Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Adbul Rahim Wardak tells CFR.org that Washington's renewed commitment falls short of previous U.S. commitments.
CFR's Stephen Biddle says President Obama's decision to add four thousand troops to train Afghan troops is "a reasonable first step" but that Obama faces huge challenges in standing up a viable Afghan army.
Charles A. Kupchan, CFR senior fellow for Europe studies, says Obama's "popularity and the departure of President Bush" create a "window of opportunity to improve relations between the United States and Russia and between the United States and the European Union.
Admiral Timothy J. Keating interviewed by Greg Bruno
The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, emphasizes expanding U.S. cooperation with countries in the region but says a military partnership with China appears a long way off.
Barnett R. Rubin, a leading expert on Afghanistan, says to end the current crisis there the United States should reach out to other parties such as Pakistan, Russia, India, and Iran, as well as to encourage dialogue between Afghan government emissaries and Taliban insurgents who are not tied to al-Qaeda.
Veteran New York Times correspondent John F. Burns discusses the declining security situation in Afghanistan and what he says are the dim prospects for fruitful peace talks between the Taliban and Karzai government.
Richard N. Haass, CFR president and an expert on the Middle East, says the congressional testimony by the top two U.S. officials in Iraq has to a large extent “regained control of the Iraq debate” for the Bush administration.
Kenneth M. Pollack, a leading expert on Iraq, says his latest trip to Iraq showed the country was “a mess,” but there were also significant improvements on the ground as a result of the U.S. “surge” policy.
Gary Samore, a former National Security Council official, says Iran is trying to forestall another round of UN Security Council sanctions and ultimately to stave off a possible military attack against its nuclear facilities.
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The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.