Afghanistan

Primary Sources

White House Quarterly Report on Afghanistan and Pakistan, September 2011

The fourth White House Quarterly Report on Afghanistan and Pakistan was released in September 2011. President Obama's letter accompanying the report states,

"This report covers the period from January 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011. To the extent possible, the report also provides an assessment through August 31, 2011. Events continue to evolve since that time, for example in our relationship with Pakistan, but these developments fall outside the scope of this report. As I noted in my remarks on the way forward in Afghanistan on June 22, we have seen great progress in our fight against al-Qa'ida; we have reversed the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan; and we continue to see progress in training the Afghan National Security Forces. This will allow us in the coming year to fully recover the 33,000 U.S. troop surge I announced at West Point in December 2009. Beyond that change, we continue to implement the strategy and do not believe further modifications or adjustments to the metrics, resources, or authorities are required at this time. Huge challenges remain, and this is the beginning -- but not the end -- of our effort to wind down this war."

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Article

Losing Iraq?

Author: Max Boot
Weekly Standard

Max Boot states that an American drawdown in both Iraq and Afghanistan makes continued war—and with it the possibility of a catastrophic American defeat—more likely by emboldening our enemies and disheartening our friends.

See more in Wars and Warfare; Afghanistan; United States; Iraq

Interview

How Afghanistan Is Rebuilding Itself

J. Alexander Thier interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria

As concerns grow over Afghanistan's ability to govern, USAID's J. Alexander Thier discusses development successes and challenges, singling out infrastructure and energy as critical areas for investment.

See more in Afghanistan; Wars and Warfare

Interview

Afghan Concerns over U.S. Staying Power

Taj Ayubi interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria

As Washington and Kabul work toward a security arrangement post-2014, President Karzai's aide Taj Ayubi says Washington's wariness over signing a binding agreement have led to Afghan concerns over the long-term U.S. commitment to the country.

See more in Afghanistan; Terrorism

Audio

Afghan Peace Talks (Audio)

Speakers: James Dobbins and James J. Shinn
Presider: Frank G. Wisner

James Dobbins and James J. Shinn, coauthors of Afghan Peace Talks: A Primer, discuss the relationships between al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as the obstacles and possible outcomes of peace negotiations.

See more in Terrorism; Afghanistan; Pakistan

Foreign Affairs Article

Groundhog War

Author: Bing West

Two documentaries on the Afghan war, Restrepo and Armadillo, show how a combination of overwhelming military resources and aggressive counterinsurgency ultimately leads to frustration on the battlefield.

See more in Wars and Warfare; Afghanistan