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.
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.
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 2015 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 »