President Obama should pursue a more sweeping troop drawdown in Afghanistan that focuses a residual force on counterterrorist operations, and helps Washington devote more resources to fixing severe domestic problems, says CFR President Richard N. Haass.
President Obama's decision to remove thirty thousand troops from Afghanistan in just over a year heightens the difficulty in securing the east and south of the country against far-from-defeated Taliban forces, writes CFR's Max Boot.
Max Boot says a large withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would allow the Taliban to gain ground and erode the willingness of the Afghan government to provide the United States with the military bases needed to keep pressure on Al Qaeda.
Is U.S. involvement in Afghanistan a mission to build a stable Afghan state or eliminate the al-Qaeda threat? As a decision nears on U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, lawmakers are making new calls for clarity, adding to the debate over the war's endgame.
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.
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.
U.S. strategy in Afghanistan should be in line with the Obama administration's political goals of defeating al-Qaeda rather than devoting resources to long-term nation building, says CFR's Gian Gentile.
The latest review of the Afghan strategy puts U.S. troop drawdown on track for July, but experts say President Obama has to balance assuring partners in the region of U.S. commitment to the war with increasing calls for withdrawal from some Democrats.
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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.