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  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In a recent article, AEI resident scholar Frederick W. Kagan examined one of the recurring themes in the recent congressional hearings on the situation in Iraq. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were repeatedly told that the size and scope of our Iraq effort were preventing the United States from prevailing in the "real fight" against al Qaeda in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. Kagan, the author of four reports on Iraq strategy, including the latest, Iraq: The Way Ahead, examines the reality of the popular claim.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly, Colin Monaghan
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The White House has recently taken important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration, including a new strategy in Iraq and an increase in the size of U.S. land forces. But as time grows short, the president needs to attend closely to three matters. The first of these—a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan—was discussed in the February 2007 edition of National Security Outlook, is a need as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the urgency of rebuilding land forces, especially the Army. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuation of the Pax Americana: articulating a strategy for the “Long War” in the greater Middle East and devising a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook is devoted to the second factor, the strategy for winning the Long War in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Government, National Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the recent announcements of a new strategy for Iraq and a commitment to begin increasing the size of U.S. land forces, the White House has taken two important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Since 9/11 and indeed since the beginning of this administration, strategy has been made by an odd combination of ad hoc improvisation and expansive rhetoric. The day-to-day business of fitting means to ends and filling in the policy blanks has either been delegated to subordinates, left to the bureaucracy, or put in the “too hard” box. As time grows short, Bush needs to attend closely to three further matters. The first is as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the need to rebuild land forces, especially the Army: a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuity of the Pax Americana: articulate a strategy for the “long war” in the greater Middle East and devise a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook begins a series devoted to these three measures of the enduring meaning of the Bush Doctrine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Asia
  • Author: Vance Serchuk
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When rioting sparked by a fatal traffic accident involving the U.S. military suddenly broke out in Kabul in May, most in the city were taken by surprise. Less shocking was the response of the Afghan National Police (ANP) to the unrest. Rather than dispersing the mobs and restoring order, Kabul's cops were reported fleeing their posts and, in some cases, joining the looters. “The reaction of our police was really shameful,” acknowledged Jawed Ludin, chief of staff to President Hamid Karzai. Unfortunately, the sorry performance of the ANP was not an isolated event, but a reflection of a much bigger problem. Nearly five years since the ouster of the Taliban and more than three since the fall of Saddam, the Bush administration has repeatedly stumbled in its efforts to create effective foreign police forces. In marked contrast to the army-building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have begun to yield encouraging results, the indigenous police in both countries appear stuck in a transition to nowhere, slaughtered by insurgents and infiltrated by militias and warlords.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Taliban, Kabul
  • Author: Michael A. Ledeen
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: September 11 happened when Osama bin Laden looked at us and thought we were ready to be had. We were politically divided and squabbling over everything. We clearly were not prepared to take casualties in direct combat. The newly elected president seemed unable to make a tough decision. And so bin Laden attacked, expecting to deliver a decisive blow to our national will, expecting that we would turn tail and run as we had in Somalia and that he would then be free to concentrate his energies on the defeat of local apostates, the creation of his caliphate, and the organization of Muslim revenge for the catastrophes of past centuries. Within a few months he was driven out of Afghanistan, his organization was shattered, the Arab street he had hoped to mobilize was silenced by the shock and awe of the total victory of the Americans, and he became an instrument of forces greater than himself. If he still lives, he is the servant of the Shiite mullahs, making propaganda movies and audiotapes to bolster the morale of the constantly shrinking number of his admirers, while the mullahs order his followers to martyr themselves against Iraqi civilians.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Vance Serchuk
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On September 18, 2005, Afghanistan held its first democratic parliamentary and provincial elections in more than thirty-five years. The vote marks the successful completion of the transitional political process outlined by the 2001 Bonn Accords, the internationally brokered framework that has guided Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban. The United States and its allies in Kabul can rightly celebrate the passage of this milestone and the remarkable progress that has been achieved over the past four years. At the same time, the end of Bonn is also a natural time to raise questions about the Bush administration's long-term road map for Afghanistan. Two problems with the current American strategy—too much faith in NATO and too little investment in indigenous Afghan institutions—deserve particular attention.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Taliban, Kabul
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. defense policy today rests heavily on two basic assumptions: that the American armed forces will make perfect decisions and take perfect actions, and that the enemy will never surprise us or offer us unexpected opportunities to exploit. These assumptions can be seen in the elimination of reserve forces from all echelons of the military structure and the heavy burden that the current war has placed on the Army Reserves and National Guard. The result of these decisions has been to leave the United States with little ability to react to unforeseen difficulties, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere. If this policy continues, it will place American national security in grave jeopardy for years to come.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: One hundred days into the second term of President George W. Bush, a clear national security agenda and policy team have emerged. While there has been some change—most notably, the elevation of Condoleezza Rice to secretary of state and primary policy pilot—there is also a great deal of continuity, particularly in the Pentagon, where Donald Rumsfeld still rules supreme. In addition to fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the defense secretary is leading the charge on a third front—the internal fight to transform the U.S. military. Yet two recent books by experienced war correspondents tell important stories that call parts of the transformation program into question. David Zucchino and Sean Naylor, both “embedded” with units in the thick of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively, perform the traditional journalist's function of telling truth to power. Their books and their messages deserve careful scrutiny.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Regardless of who is elected to the presidency in November, the growing threat posed by a nuclear Iran is certain to be at the top of the next administration's national security agenda. Unfortunately, neither a "grand bargain" with Tehran nor a conventional military strike against its nuclear facilities offers much hope of preventing one of the world's most dangerous regimes from acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons. In the short term, at least, the United States must instead work to isolate Iran not only militarily but ideologically, by succeeding in the democratic transformation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: While the Bush administration has articulated an ambitious agenda for the liberalization of the greater Middle East, fighting to establish beachheads of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as pressuring regimes in the region to adopt domestic reforms, it has thus far proven somewhat reluctant to embrace this commitment to liberty in other parts of the world. Nowhere has this retreat from its rhetoric been more pointed than in Taiwan, a flourishing free-market democracy menaced by an authoritarian colossus next door. Taiwan's March 20 election provides fresh evidence of the extent to which the "one China" policy and "strategic ambiguity"—those avatars of conventional wisdom—have passed into the realm of anachronism. Indeed, if the Bush Doctrine represents anything, it is the conviction that there must be nothing ambiguous about America's support for the forces of freedom.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, Middle East, Taiwan
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the capture of Saddam Hussein and the diminishing number of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, there is a new sense of confidence and optimism about the direction of the Bush administration's foreign policy. It is important, however, to place these recent developments within the broader context of the endeavor to which the president has committed our nation. The invasion of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001 and that of Iraq in the spring of 2003 together mark a significant departure from longstanding American strategy in the greater Middle East. In place of "off-shore balancing," wherein the United States sought to preserve the status quo by supporting a revolving rogue's gallery of native regimes, American power is now actively engaged in reshaping the political order of the Islamic world. This is, by definition, a generational commitment.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East