Analysis Brief

White House Hosts Awkward Dinner

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf dined with President Bush Wednesday at the White House. President Bush sought to smooth over a rift between them in order to curb the threat posed by a resurgent Taliban.

See more in Afghanistan; Terrorism

Analysis Brief

NATO's New Afghan Challenge

The United States hands over military operations in Afghanistan's restive south to NATO. The move comes as the resurgent Taliban mounts daily attacks that threaten the country's stability and highlight the powerlessness of the Afghan government.

See more in NATO; Afghanistan

Analysis Brief

Afghan Anger Boils Over

Tension and instability simmer in Afghanistan as NATO prepares to expand its military presence into the south, where a resurgent Taliban is launching attacks. Against this backdrop, a traffic accident involving U.S. military vehicles sparked deadly riots in Kabul.

See more in Afghanistan; NATO

Analysis Brief

New Threat to Afghan Security

A deadly series of suicide bombings in Afghanistan raises fears militants are adopting tactics from the Iraqi insurgency. The attacks put the spotlight on the Afghan army—which is growing in size and effectiveness—and recently expanded NATO efforts to maintain security in the nation.

See more in Afghanistan; Defense and Security


Small Footprint, Small Payoff

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle, Julia Macdonald, and Ryan Baker
Journal of Strategic Studies

Stephen Biddle, Julia McDonald, and Ryan Baker argue that training, equipping, and advising partner militaries is an increasingly popular alternative to large U.S. ground force deployments in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and many other places where the United States has real but limited interests at stake. Yet SFA has often yielded disappointing results in actual practice. The authors explain this pattern as the result of systematic interest misalignment between the United States and the partners it must work with in these kinds of missions—and argue that these problems are only partly remediable. The authors present ways to do better at the margin, but also argue that underlying interest misalignment will limit this tool's likely utility in the future, and that U.S. decision makers must take this into account when deciding when, where, and how to use it. 

See more in Iraq; Afghanistan; Defense and Security; Conflict Assessment


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


Tender Shoots of Green

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Foreign Policy

"While the United States may want to shed its Afghanistan obligations -- including its commitment to supporting the Afghan economy -- those who care about Afghanistan's security, and America's, will want to make certain the green shoots get tended," writes Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building


Malala, Others on Front Lines in Fight for Women

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Despite the fact that Malala Yousafzai, the fourteen-year-old Pakistani women's rights activist, survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, similar attacks against women, like the one in India, are on the rise. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says that these attacks are efforts to stamp out women's progress and the potential of women worldwide will not be realized if this type of violence is tolerated.

See more in Afghanistan; Pakistan; Women; Children