Afghanistan

America's Non-Grand Strategy

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
September 5, 2011 |

To understand 21st century geopolitics, think of the global capitalist system: it is a marketplace, not a monopoly. In this diffuse network of nodes and connections, stronger and weaker ties, interdependencies and feedback loops, bad decisions are punished almost as quickly as the stock market punishes bad business models. We have just lived through the inaugural cycle of this geopolitical marketplace. Two decades ago, president George H.W. Bush proclaimed a "New World Order" at the United Nations General Assembly, yet today's world is multipolar and leaderless.

The Post-9/11 Military

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
September 2, 2011 |

Much has changed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but few American institutions have changed as much as the military.

At the most basic level, it has shifted from a peacetime military to a continuously wartime military, and it has done so for the first time since the United States got rid of the draft.

U.S.-Pakistan: Divorce Is Not an Option

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Michael Mazarr, U.S. National War College
September 1, 2011 |

Pakistan, and Pakistani-American relations, confront their worst crises in recent memory.

Pakistan's economy is in free fall, and its major cities are wracked by political violence, while Pakistani attitudes toward the United States have never been worse -- a legacy of the CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistanis in the city of Lahore this year, the campaign of drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal regions and the unilateral American raid to kill Osama bin Laden in northern Pakistan in May.

Getting Bin Laden

  • By
  • Nicholas Schmidle,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

Shortly after eleven o'clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard.

Hearts, Minds, and Murders

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
July 18, 2011 |

Gen. David Petraeus stepped down as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Monday, just as the Taliban's strength seems to be on the rise. The militants' growing power comes not from conventional military victories—on that score, Petraeus has racked up considerable advances in the past year—but, rather, from what may be a shift in the real war that's going on: the war for the favor (or at least complicity) of the Afghan people.

Kabul Bombing’s Political Fallout

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
June 30, 2011 |

"If they give the security responsibilities to the current government at 10:00 a.m., the government will collapse around 12 noon. They cannot live without foreigners." Those are the words of Nazir Amini, a car dealer caught in Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel when it was besieged this week by Taliban fighters. We need to take them to heart.

A Brand-New Plan for Afghanistan

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

President Barack Obama's decision to pull 33,000 troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next summer—10,000 of them by the end of this year—reflects a scaling back of U.S. goals and strategy in the war. Either that, or it doesn't make much sense.

Military Experts Scrutinize Obama's Drawdown Plan

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

This speech is a welcome step toward a sustainable Afghanistan policy, one that realizes that our interests in that country are real, but limited. This speech puts us on a path that aligns our commitment to Afghanistan with these limited interests -- a foreign policy one might almost call "humble."

Ducking Afghanistan in the Afghan Speech

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

President Obama's Afghanistan speeches are never really about Afghanistan. George W. Bush wanted his presidency to be about Iraq. From the beginning, President Obama has wanted his presidency not to be about Afghanistan, and so whenever he brings up the subject, he ends up talking about the other things for which he'd rather be remembered.

Behind the Scene of the Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Plan

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

According to senior administration officials, the planning for President Barack Obama's announcement for the drawdown from Afghanistan began in January of this year when the president summoned top members of his national security team into the Oval Office and tasked them with coming up with a plan for the drawdown.

The calculations that went into the drawdown decision included the fact that "remarkable and "unexpected" progress had been made degrading al Qaeda infrastructure in its bases in the tribal regions of Pakistan over the past 18 months, explained one of those officials.

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