The threat posed by the al-Qaeda-Taliban relationship is a crucial element in U.S. strategic planning in Afghanistan. Four experts explore the changing nature of these sometimes murky ties.
The 9/11 attacks on the United States catalyzed effective counterterrorism efforts worldwide and demonstrated the ongoing need for public resilience, says CFR President Richard Haass.
Initial U.S. successes in Afghanistan and Pakistan after 9/11 masked deeper problems that have beset Washington's effort to stabilize the "AfPak" theater, writes CFR's Daniel Markey.
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, says his government views the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban as a national priority in spite of the doubts of some American officials. He also takes issue with the notion that Pakistan is close to bankruptcy.
"Jihadists were already finding it hard to operate in North Africa before the Arab Spring of 2011. Since then their problems have become almost insurmountable: they thrive only in countries where Islamists are in prison, not where they are in the ascendant or contesting elections. As for Europe, the last attacks instigated by al-Qaida date back to Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005. Jihadism looks less like a rising phenomenon in the north of Mali than a force in retreat. The French intervention may well give them purpose and greater coherence."
Teresita and Howard Schaffar review U.S. strategy options regarding Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.
This BBC News profile discusses the history of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The Economist analyzes the history of Waziristan and Pakistan's efforts to control it.
Scott Shane examines the Pashtunistan region, and its implications for American foreign policy in the near future, commenting that "Mr. Obama's surge depends a lot on the hearts and minds of the Pashtuns - and who seems a winner."
Fareed Zakaria argues that although the Pakistani military has pledged to fight the spread of the Taliban in the country, it has yet to sever its core relationship with the militants.
This International Crisis Group report examines the rise of militants in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has reiterated that his government does not provide safe haven to Taliban leaders waging war in Afghanistan. At a Council on Foreign Relations briefing he warned against linking the large ethnic Pashtun population in western Pakistan with Taliban extremists.
Counterterrorism strategies of the past thirteen years have relied upon a myth of 9/11: terrorists require safe havens to conduct international terrorist attacks. Micah Zenko and Amelia M. Wolf argue that there is no evidence to support this assumption, which most recently served as the basis for launching a war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Max Boot says the death of Anwar al-Awlaki is a fleeting victory without stability in Yemen.
Joshua Kurlantzick says that as counterterrorism officials plot life for al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden, they would do well to look toward the Indonesian experience.
Max Boot says even with Osama bin Laden's death, it is too soon to disengage from Afghanistan.
Micah Zenko argues that given the importance of U.S. drone strikes against al-Qaeda, greater transparency regarding the operations is essential.
Max Boot discusses the implications of President Obama's troop strategy in Afghanistan
Steven Simon discusses the investigation into twenty Americans who are believed to have joined a militant Islamist group in Somalia.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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.
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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