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  • Author: Stephen Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In an important sense, emerging debates on the war's lessons are premature. The war in Afghanistan is not over; nor is it ending anytime soon. Nevertheless, before conventional wisdom consolidates, two observations on counterinsurgency are worth considering now: whether it can work and how to approach governance reform.
  • Topic: Security, War, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Shashank Joshi
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For India, the Western drawdown of forces in Afghanistan will represent the greatest adverse structural shift in its security environment for over a decade. Yet, a fundamental congruity of interests between Washington and New Delhi, and opportunities for cooperation, remain.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Environment
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Washington, India
  • Author: Sandra Destradi
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If the West wants to harness the potential of cooperating with India in Afghanistan, it needs a better appreciation of India's engagement and motivations, as well as of New Delhi's assets and concerns about Afghanistan's future.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, India, New Delhi
  • Author: Kayhan Barzegar
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since 2001, this Iranian scholar argues, Iran has sought to establish security and stability, while advancing regional cooperation in Afghanistan. The only way to manage conflict in the post-exit era is for the West to accept the legitimacy of increased regional cooperation, including Iran's involvement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Taliban
  • Author: Sumithra Narayanan Kutty
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When it comes to Afghanistan's future, the United States ironically has more in common with Iran than it does with Pakistan. As Western troops draw down, a look inside Iran's enduring interests, means to secure them, unique assets, and goals that may or not conflict with other regional actors.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: Peter Bergen, Jennifer Rowland
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the National Defense University (NDU) on May 23, 2013, President Barack Obama gave a major speech about terrorism-arguing that the time has come to redefine the kind of conflict that the United States has been engaged in since the 9/11 attacks. Obama asserted that ''[w]e must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.'' Thus, the President focused part of his speech on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which Congress had passed days after 9/11 and which gave President George W. Bush the authority to go to war in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies. Few in Congress who voted for this authorization understood that they were voting for what has become the United States' longest war, one that has expanded in recent years to countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Yemen
  • Author: Ben Rowswell
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The international mission to reconstruct Afghanistan may be the most ambitious statebuilding exercise ever undertaken. Since 2009 at least, the country has been the focus of tremendous international political will, extensive development assistance, and overwhelming military power. While the effort has generated real progress in quadrupling GDP, increasing literacy rates, and building up the Afghan National Security Forces, the news coming out of Afghanistan is dominated by stories of corruption, electoral fraud, and the impunity of regional powerbrokers.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Haider Ali Hussein Mullick
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is America's longest war. Thousands of U.S. troops and those from nearly 50 other countries have fought in Afghanistan against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, but it was in nuclear-armed Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (the mastermind of 9/11) was captured, and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar as well as the heads of the virulent Haqqani network reside. Pakistan's duplicity is a fact, yet it is often excessively characterized as a function of the India—Pakistan rivalry. Pakistani generals do fear India, but they have also recognized the threat from domestic insurgents. The height of this concern was reached in 2009, when the Pakistani Taliban were 60 miles from the country's capital and jeopardized U.S. as well as Pakistani goals in the region: interdicting al-Qaeda, protecting Pakistani nuclear weapons, and stabilizing (and in Pakistan's case, an anti-India) Afghanistan. At that point, Pakistani troops, unlike past attempts, fought back and prevailed against the insurgents. It can be done.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, India
  • Author: Bruce Riedel, Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The strategy in Afghanistan, as outlined by President Obama in his December 2009 West Point speech and earlier March 2009 policy review, still has a good chance to succeed. Described here as ''Plan A,'' it is a relatively comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy, albeit one with a geographic focus on about one-third of Afghanistan's districts. Directed at defeating the insurgency or at least substantially weakening it, while building up Afghan institutions, it has reasonable prospects of achieving these goals well enough to hold together the Afghan state and prevent the establishment of major al Qaeda or other extremist sanctuaries on Afghan soil. Nevertheless, the strategy is not guaranteed to succeed, for reasons having little to do with its own flaws and more to do with the inherent challenge of the problem. Critics of the current strategy are right to begin a discussion of what a backup strategy, or a ''Plan B,'' might be. The most popular alternative to date emphasizes targeted counterterrorism operations, rather than comprehensive counterinsurgency—especially in the country's Pashtun south and east where the insurgencies are strongest. The United States should have a debate over Plan B, but the above version is highly problematic. Its proponents are serious people motivated by serious considerations—they worry that the current war is not winnable, or at least that it is not winnable at costs commensurate with the strategic stakes they perceive in Afghanistan. Yet, it would be troubling if the U.S. debate in 2011 was forced to choose effectively between this kind of backup plan and the current robust counterinsurgency approach. There is a better way if a fallback option is needed. Rather than conceding at least one-third of the country to extremists and reducing NATO forces quickly, the United States should tie its force drawdown to the growth and maturation of Afghan security forces. Under this plan, described here as ''Plan A-,'' U.S. and other foreign forces would have to keep fighting hard in Afghanistan for 2-4 more years, even as they gradually passed the baton to Afghan forces, but the United States would not need to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, and would not tie its downsizing to the stabilization of all key terrain.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Paul Stanilan
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Obama has placed Pakistan at the center of his administration's foreign policy agenda. Islamabad is a pivotal player in Afghanistan and its decisions will have much to do with whether and how U.S. forces can leave that country. Al Qaeda and linked militant groups have used Pakistan as a sanctuary and recruiting ground, with the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas becoming, in President Obama's words, ''the most dangerous place in the world.'' Recurrent tensions between India and Pakistan frustrate and complicate U.S. initiatives in the region, where nuclear proliferation, insurgency, terrorism, and grand strategic goals in Asia intersect.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, Asia
  • Author: Evan A. Feigenbaum
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the fall of 2006, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, I wandered through a bazaar in Kara-suu on the Kyrgyz—Uzbek border. The bazaar is one of Central Asia's largest and a crossroads for traders from across the volatile Ferghana Valley Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and many others. But most remarkably, it has become home to nearly a thousand Chinese traders from Fujian, a coastal province some 3,000 miles away, lapped by the waters of the Taiwan Strait.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Andrew C. Kuchins
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two events in the past year have shifted the focus of efforts to stabilize Afghanistan as President Obama's July 2011 deadline for beginning a drawdown of U.S. forces approaches. The first was the Kabul Conference, held July 20, 2010, where Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that Afghanistan would take full responsibility for its sovereignty and security by the end of 2014. The November 2010 NATO conference in Lisbonthe second eventconfirmed this benchmark for full transition to Afghan sovereignty as well as a longer-term commitment to a ''strong partnership'' beyond 2014. While there are certain caveats about ''conditions-based'' decisions regarding these benchmarks, this timeframe should guide the strategic planning of the Afghan government, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and regional partners.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: C. Christine Fair
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On December 24, 1998, five Pakistani terrorists associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) a Pakistani jihadist organization hijacked an Indian Airlines flight in Kathmandu with the goal of exchanging three Pakistani terrorists held in Indian jails for the surviving passengers. Pakistan's external intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), facilitated the hijacking in Nepal. After a harrowing journey through Amritsar (India), Lahore (Pakistan), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the plane landed at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, then under Taliban control. Under public pressure, the Indian government ultimately agreed to the terrorists' demands to deliver the three prisoners jailed in India. Both the hijackers and the terrorists who were released from prison transited to Pakistan with the assistance of the ISI. Masood Azhar, one of the freed militants, appeared in Karachi within weeks of the exchange to announce the formation of a new militant group which he would lead, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JM).
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, India, Nepal, Dubai, Lahore, Amritsar
  • Author: Hans Kundnani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Berlin's March 2011 abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya has raised questions about Germany's role in the international system. By abstaining on Security Council Resolution 1973, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with the four BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Whether or not the decision signals a weakening of what Germans call the Westbindung, it illustrates the strength of Germany's ongoing reluctance to use military force as a foreign-policy tool even in a multilateral context and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Over the past few years, as the number of German and civilian casualties has increased in Afghanistan, the German public has become more skeptical about the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in particular and about the deployment of German troops abroad in general. Like Germany, other EU member states such as France and the United Kingdom are cutting their defense budgets, but Germany shares few of their aspirations to project power beyond Europe.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, India, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Mina Al-Oraibi, Gerard Russell
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “We are in an information war...and we are losing” declared U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, describing U.S. efforts to counter extremists and engage Arab publics during this year's unprecedented and historic change in the Middle East. She is right. In the decade since 9/11, thousands of American lives and more than a trillion dollars have been spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while millions of dollars have been spent on public diplomacy programs aimed at the Arab world. In 2009, President Barack Obama delivered a landmark speech in Cairo designed to seek “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Two years on, according to the latest polling data in Egypt, unfavorable views of the United States outnumber favorable ones by nearly four to one. With some exceptions, the United States likewise remains unpopular in most majority-Muslim countries from Morocco to Pakistan. Why? And what can be done about it?
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: David M. Abshire, Ryan Browne
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Within hours of President Obama's announcement of Osama bin Laden's May 2 death, pundits and politicians from both the right and left were calling for a speedier withdrawal from Afghanistan. The discovery and targeted killing of bin Laden in a compound on the outskirts of Abbottabad, Pakistan, located less than a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy, dramatically amplified concerns about elements of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence service (ISI) maintaining links with al-Qaeda and other violent extremist organizations. Many argued that the death of al-Qaeda's leader meant that our post-9/11 mission had been accomplished, and our expensive presence in Afghanistan was no longer needed amidst an era of mounting debt and budget fights.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: John A. Nagl, Brian M Burton
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After a slow start, the U.S. military has made remarkable strides in adapting to irregular warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is beginning to institutionalize those adaptations. Recent Department of Defense (DOD) directives and field manuals have elevated stability operations and counterinsurgency to the same level of importance as conventional military offensive and defensive operations. These changes are the outcome of deep reflection about the nature of current and likely future threats to U.S. national security and the military's role in addressing them. They represent important steps toward transforming a sclerotic organizational culture that long encouraged a ''we don't do windows'' posture on so-called ''military operations other than war,'' even as the nation's leaders called upon the armed forces to perform those types of missions with increasing frequency.
  • Topic: National Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: How can we make sense of where the United States is in Afghanistan today? A poor country, wracked by 30 years of civil war, finds itself at the mercy of insurgents, terrorists, and narco-traffickers. NATO's economy-of-force operation there has attempted to help build a nation with very few resources. Yet, overall levels of violence remain relatively modest by comparison with other violent lands such as the Congo, Iraq, and even Mexico. Economic growth is significant and certain quality of life indicators are improving, though from a very low base. The United States is committed to Afghanistan and over the course of 2009 will roughly double its troop strength there. The international community is also seriously committed, with a number of key countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom fighting hard and applying solid principles of counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Netherlands
  • Author: C. Christine Fair
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States has sought to help Pakistan transform itself into a stable, prosperous, and democratic state that supports U.S. interests in the region, is capable of undermining Islamist militancy inside and outside its borders, commits to a secure Afghanistan, and actively works to mitigate prospects for further nuclear proliferation. Washington has also hoped that Pakistan, along with India, would continue to sustain the beleaguered peace process to minimize the odds of a future military crisis between them. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2008, the United States has spent more than $11.2 billion, presumably to further these goals. The FY 2009 budget request includes another $1.2 billion.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, India
  • Author: C. Raja Mohan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the major contributions of Barack Obama's presidential campaign during 2007—08 was his political success in shifting the focus of the U.S. foreign policy debate away from Iraq and toward Afghanistan. The reversal of fortunes in the two major wars that President George W. Bush had embarked upon during his tenure (a steady improvement in the military situation in Iraq during the last two years of the Bush administration and the rapidly deteriorating one in Afghanistan) helped Obama to effectively navigate the foreign policy doldrums that normally sink the campaigns of Democratic candidates in U.S. presidential elections. Throughout his campaign, Obama insisted that the war on terror that began in Afghanistan must also end there. He attacked Bush for taking his eyes off the United States' ''war of necessity,'' embarking on a disastrous ''war of choice'' in Iraq, and promised to devote the U.S. military and diplomatic energies to a region that now threatened U.S. interests and lives: the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, South Asia