Pakistan's instability, a Taliban insurgency, and growing skepticism in the United States argue for an earlier drawing-down of forces from Afghanistan if there's no progress, says Richard Armitage, co-chair of a new CFR Independent Task Force Report.
President Obama's political objectives for Afghanistan are limited and feasible, says military historian Gian Gentile, but the military's counterinsurgency strategy and "maximalist approach of nation-building" could take a generation to achieve.
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.
The U.S.-led offensive against the Taliban stronghold of Marja is an important part of the "hold-and-build" strategy to extend Afghan government control into restive provinces, says CFR expert Max Boot.
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 Kim Barker, on return from a recent trip to Kabul, says Afghans are disillusioned with both the reelection of President Hamid Karzai and what they perceive as the U.S desire for an exit strategy.
Stephen Biddle, a senior defense and counterterrorism analyst, says that President Obama's schedule for reducing and then ending the U.S. deployment in Iraq "is a reasonable compromise between several conflicting demands."
Authors: Abdalle Ahmed, Spencer Ackerman, and David Smith
"What had been invisible to Sheikh and other residents of Barawe was the stealthy advance of navy Seal team six – the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan – in a speedboat towards the Somalian coastline before first light. The team consisted of about 20 Seals, according to leaked accounts, and their craft was flanked on the Indian Ocean by three small boats to provide back-up."
Joshua Foust highlights the apprehensiveness of both presidential candidates to address the ongoing war in Afghanistan and what it means for raising public or political pressure to find a lasting solution.
In The New York Review of Books, Ahmed Rashid sifts through the conflicting reports of U.S. forces' success in Afghanistan and the distinct perspectives of the many players involved in the Afghan conflict.
As the United States must not abandon the thousands of Iraqis currently risking their lives to work alongside our soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers. The Obama Administration cannot wait until the final hours of the withdrawal to address this moral imperative.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
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. Read and download »