Asked by Jessica Brandt, from Harvard Kennedy School
The Afghan civil war of the 1990s was partly fueled by longstanding Indo-Pakistani rivalry, with different Afghan factions receiving support from different regional neighbors. The United States has a clear interest in avoiding a similar outcome as it disengages from the current war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, promoting Indo-Pakistani dialogue on Afghanistan will not be easy.
The answer is simple: 9/11. The most costly terrorist attack ever was carried out from Afghanistan. The United States showed bipartisan determination to bring the perpetrators to justice and—the part that explains our continuing engagement in Afghanistan—to prevent its soil from ever being used again to stage terrorist attacks.
Pundits tend to treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although the agendas have changed over the years -- from tribalism, to liberalism and nationalism, to socialism, to jihadist extremism -- guerrilla and terrorist warfare has been ubiquitous throughout history and consistently deadly.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen held a final press conference on February 22, 2013, after meetings of NATO Defence Ministers regarding the International Security Assistance Force and the transition in Afghanistan.
Speaker: Hina Rabbani Khar Presider: David E. Sanger
Hina Rabbani Khar, the minister for foreign affairs for Pakistan discusses the implications of U.S. and NATO troop reduction and withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S.-Pakistan relations, and details surrounding the U.S. operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.
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.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey held this press conference on January 10, 2013. They discussed Afghan President Karzai's visit, defense sequestration, and possible chemical weapons in Syria.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says that the war in Afghanistan, which has spanned a decade and cost more than 2,000 American lives, has now faded to one key, albeit short-sighted, question: How many U.S. troops will remain after 2014?
Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes and Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for South Asia Doug Lute held this conference call on January 8, 2013, to preview President Karzai's visit to the White House.
Women have made strides in Afghanistan since 2001, but huge issues still remain. While the United States focuses on withdrawal, Afghan women are still in the fight and will be long after 2014, says Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
A precipitous drawdown to 6,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 would cripple the U.S. counterterrorism mission and Afghan security forces, vastly increasing the risk of a Taliban takeover, says Max Boot.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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 »