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  • Author: Rachel Kleinfeld, Harry Bader
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The international community's approach to building the rule of law in situations of extreme violence can be improved. These contexts demand a strategy that reduces the strength of armed nonstate groups and restores stability so governance-building activities can take hold. Lessons from a program implemented by the Natural Resources Counterinsurgency Cell (NRCC) in Afghanistan can help inform a more holistic strategy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Bilateral Relations, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan will leave the country worse than it was before 2001 in some respects. There is no clear plan for the future. Washington will progressively lose its influence over Kabul, and drone operations in Pakistan are not a credible way to fight jihadist groups on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The situation will only worsen after 2014, when most U.S. troops are out of the country and aid going to the Afghan government steeply declines.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A combination of two critical problems threatens to undermine the mission of the United States-led coalition in Afghanistan: the failure of the counterinsurgency strategy and a disconnect between political objectives and military operations. If anything, the current strategy is making a political solution less likely, notably because it is antagonizing Pakistan without containing the rise of the armed opposition. That has put the coalition in a paradoxical situation, in which it is being weakened militarily by a non-negotiated and inevitable withdrawal while at the same time alienating potential negotiating partners.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The coalition strategy has reached an impasse. None of the efforts attempted since the summer of 2009 has halted the deterioration of the political and security situation. Although a few tactical successes might be possible, the coalition cannot defeat the Taliban or rally local commanders to its side. Moreover, the Karzai government enjoys very limited legitimacy and appears incapable of rebuilding a state that can assume responsibility for its own security in the foreseeable future. The coalition faces the risk of an endless engagement accompanied by an intolerable loss of life and treasure.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Alexey Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Afghanistan problem has many angles, but a view from the North—the perspective of Russia—has been missing from many previous analyses. The ten-year-long Soviet military involvement in the country is too often dismissed as having little in common with NATO's current mission. The Soviet Union, after all, has failed, and NATO still plans to succeed. For the Russians themselves, the “Afghan syndrome” continues to be very powerful and warns against any new engagement in Afghanistan. While many in Russia still see developments in Afghanistan in a historical context, however, Russia is entwined in a complex web of relationships with the Afghan parties, neighboring states, and the West. Moscow is an important part of the Afghan equation.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Asia, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis, Martha Brill Olcott, Dmitri V. Trenin, Frédéric Grare, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Christopher Boucek, Gilles Dorronsoro, Karim Sadjadpour, Michael D. Swaine, Aroop Mukharji, Haroun Mir, Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Tiffany Ng
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has made some decisive changes to the Afghan policy it inherited. Most significantly, in its first year it committed to a 250 percent increase in the American force on the ground (adding 51,000 troops to the 34,000 in Afghanistan when Mr. Obama took office) and lobbied hard to secure increases in non–U.S. coalition forces. It matched this large increase in force with a major reduction in the goal: from raising a democratic state in Afghanistan to the creation of a state strong enough to prevent a takeover by the Taliban, al–Qaeda, or any other radical Islamic group; and to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al–Qaeda (which, of course, is not achievable in Afghanistan or Afghanistan and Pakistan alone). The third pillar of the policy was and is a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach, a belief the Bush administration moved toward in its closing days.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Religion, Terrorism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, India
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The current strategy of defeating the Taliban militarily is unrealistic. The coalition is on the defensive across much of Afghanistan and, with current troop levels, can at most only contain the insurgency. On present course, the coalition is swiftly heading toward an impasse.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Dipali Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite his commitment to develop a democratic, modern state, President Hamid Karzai placed many former warlords in positions of power, particularly in the provinces. Many observers, Afghan and foreign alike, have decried the inclusion of warlords in the new governmental structures as the chief corrosive agent undermining efforts to reconstruct the state. Indeed, warlord governors have not been ideal government officials. They have employed informal power and rules, as well as their personal networks, to preserve control over their respective provinces. Informalized politics of this kind is the antithesis of a technocratic, rule-based approach to governance and entails considerable costs, from inefficiency to corruption and human rights abuses.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Sovereignty, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The run-up to the announcement of President Obama's new "Af-Pak" strategy provoked a flurry of "new solutions" to the conflict. Promoting reconciliation with the Taliban is one idea that has reappeared—even in the administration's own White Paper on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. While this notion would rightly have been considered ridiculous a few years ago, many in Europe and the United States obviously believe that stabilizing Afghanistan may require just that. In fact, it would be the worst approach at this time—and it is destined to fail so long as key Taliban constituents are convinced that military victory in Afghanistan is inevitable.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Taliban
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: To correct a failing strategy in Afghanistan, the United States and its allies need to focus on protecting Afghan cities and reallocating more resources to the North.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States