On September 30, 2014, the United States and Afghanistan signed a bilateral security agreement, which allows some American and NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan after December 31, when the the international combat mission formally ends. These remaining troops's main focus is training the Afghan security forces. The previous version of this agreement stalled after disagreements on troop levels. See also the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)'s Independent Assessment of the Afghan National Security Forces.
Janine Davidson and Emerson Brooking argue that, on the eve of the 2014 NATO Wales Summit, the ongoing war in Afghanistan should not be relegated to a "side issue" in light of the crisis in Ukraine and growing threat of ISIS. The next few months will be critical in determining that Afghanistan does not follow the path of Iraq.
The Quarterly Reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to the United States Congress are required by Section 1229 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2008. Click on months below to view reports, beginning with the first in October 2008.
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.
Catherine Powell argues that the advances made by Afghan women since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention remain fragile. She recommends that the United States bolster gender equality before the drawdown is complete and continue working with Afghanistan to maintain these gains in the future.
CFR's Daniel Markey sheds light on the two Taliban branches—the Afghan-based group that negotiated the release of a U.S. prisoner of war, and the Pakistani Taliban, which attacked the Karachi airport last weekend.
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.
"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."
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.
In advance of the presidential election in Afghanistan, Gayle Lemmon writes on why some policymakers are hoping that "things go well – or at least well enough – to keep both the Obama administration and the American public on board."
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.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
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.