Pakistan

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.

Washington's Phantom War

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
June 22, 2011 |

One hot summer evening in 2009, in a small village in the remote Pakistani tribal agency of South Waziristan, a pair of Hellfire missiles fired from an unmanned Predator drone slammed into a house, killing the chief of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, along with his wife. About a year later, in May 2010, down a dirt road from Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, a missile from another Predator killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (known as Saeed al-Masri), a founding member of al Qaeda, along with his wife and several of their children.

Where Will Zawahiri Take al-Qaeda?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
June 19, 2011 |

There's nothing like finally getting the top job after a decade of faithfully playing second fiddle to a high-profile boss. But for al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, the dour Egyptian surgeon and longtime deputy to Osama bin Laden, succeeding his old leader comes with an unexpected challenge: His predecessor, it turns out, has gifted him a bit of a lemon. In recent years, al-Qaeda has become the Blockbuster Video of global jihad.

The organization and brand are in deep trouble, and Zawahiri is quite unlikely to become the leader who can turn things around.

The White House Debates Afghanistan—Again

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
June 9, 2011 |

The White House debate over how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan next month is really a surrogate for a larger, more fractious debate over the wisdom and strategy of the war itself.

Five Myths About Pakistan

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
June 6, 2011 |

Late last month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said there was no evidence that Pakistani officials had known that Osama bin Laden lived undetected blocks from the country's equivalent to West Point. But after the al-Qaeda leader was killed in Abbottabad on May 1, others were skeptical. "How could they not know?" said Sen. John Kerry (D. - Mass.). "Did nobody have some questions about who the hell was living behind those walls?"

An Insider's View of the Palestinian Unity Deal

  • By
  • Tom Kutsch,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2011 |

A unity agreement signed this week in Cairo between Palestinian political factions marks the first time in 4 years that a Palestinian government will be unified across the West Bank and Gaza (hitherto the territories were split between governments led by Fatah in the former and Hamas in the latter).

The Outlaw

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
May 16, 2011 |

ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about the life and death of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s use of the media to expand his influence. Writer recalls travelling to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2005, where he saw the house in which bin Laden had come of age and also visited the offices of an advertising agency run by bin Laden’s eldest son, Abdullah. Comments on the similarities between the house in Jeddah and the house in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed.

Programs:

The Raw Truth About the US-UK 'Special Relationship'

  • By
  • Steven Clemons,
  • New America Foundation
May 23, 2011 |

During the tough-fought Democratic presidential primary between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, at a wry moment during a televised debate, Clinton called Obama "very likeable" and he responded with the sterile retort, "you're likeable enough".

New Report Calls for ‘21st Century Agenda for Pakistan’

September 1, 2011

Today an expert study group co-sponsored by the New America Foundation and the National War College released their findings on U.S-Pakistan relations. The group, comprised of both American and Pakistani policy specialists, came together to devise practical ways to advance the U.S.-Pakistan relationship at a time when relations between the two countries are arguably at their most strained.

Peter Bergen, Michael J. Mazarr and additional members of the study group will discuss the findings at an 11 a.m briefing today at the New America Foundation.

The report states:

Afghanistan Has Three Wars at Once. Let’s Fight the Right One

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

There is not one war in Afghanistan. There are three.

First, there is the fight against al-Qaeda and related terrorist groups. Second is the war to protect and support the fledgling Afghan government against the Taliban insurgency. The third war is the least understood but the most enduring: the internal social and cultural battle between the urban modernizers of Afghanistan, mostly based in Kabul, and the rural, tribal, anti-modern peoples who live in the country's inaccessible mountain regions.

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