Afghanistan

Audio

Women and Girls in the Afghanistan Transition

Following the release of her report on the status of women in Afghanistan, Catherine Powell moderates a discussion with Open Society Foundations' Rachel Reid and the U.S. Department of Defense's David Sedney on the role the United States can play in extending the progress of Afghan in women in education, the economy, health care, and beyond.

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Primary Sources

President Obama's and Secretary Kerry's Remarks on Afghanistan

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry gave statements on May 27, 2014, on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan after 2014. They outline the number of staff and troops that will be involved in upholding security commitments and assisting in political and economic transitions. President Obama also spoke on May 28, 2014, at the graduation ceremony at the West Point Academy, to discuss how Afghanistan fits into the broader military strategy.

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building; Wars and Warfare

Must Read

New America Foundation: Strategic Empathy

Author: Matt Waldman

"Empathy can provide insights into how other actors are likely to perceive and react to what the United States does, and expose false assumptions that sometimes underpin strategic mistakes.This kind of information is critical as the United States weighs options for action–coercive or otherwise–in Syria, Ukraine and beyond. The case of Afghanistan shows that the human, financial and geopolitical costs are too high for empathy to be ignored."

See more in United States; Afghanistan; Politics and Strategy

Article

Planning for Withdrawal in Afghanistan May Be Smart, But It’s Not Wise

Author: Daniel S. Markey
Defense One

Votes are still being counted in Afghanistan's presidential election, but preliminary results suggest that no candidate won a majority. If these results hold up and no backroom deals are cooked up between Afghan politicians, a runoff poll will follow and the victor will not likely be declared until late summer. That timeline is making U.S. and NATO military planners very nervous.

See more in Afghanistan; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Defense Strategy

Op-Ed

In Afghanistan, Path to Lasting Success Will Also Be the Hardest

Authors: Janine Davidson and Emerson Brooking
Council on Foreign Relations

Janine Davidson and Emerson Brooking assess potential glideslopes for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in wake of the April 5 presidential elections. The most effective plan for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will be phased and gradual—but this will likely be incompatible with American public opinion.

See more in Afghanistan; Elections; Development

Primary Sources

Report on Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan

The foreward of this U.S. Department of Defense document states, "This report to Congress is submitted consistent with Section 1230 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181). It includes a description of the comprehensive strategy of the United States for security and stability in Afghanistan. This report is the first in a series of reports required every 180 days through fiscal year 2010." See also the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Quarterly Report to Congress.

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Must Read

Washington Post: Interview: Karzai Says 12-Year Afghanistan War Has Left Him Angry at U.S. Government

Author: Kevin Sieff

"In an unusually emotional interview, the departing Afghan president sought to explain why he has been such a harsh critic of the twelve-year-old U.S. war effort here. He said he's deeply troubled by all the casualties he has seen, including those in U.S. military operations. He feels betrayed by what he calls an insufficient U.S. focus on targeting Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. And he insists that public criticism was the only way to guarantee an American response to his concerns."

See more in Afghanistan; Defense and Security