Middle East & North Africa

11 Items

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

| Aug. 08, 2019

For many, like me, who worked on policy toward Afghanistan for years, recent leaks about an impending agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban bring mixed emotions. It is impossible to separate any deal from President Donald Trump’s persistent declarations that he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan now. Such assertions weakened the hand of America’s negotiators and inevitably color any agreement – whatever its merits – with “America First” and the sense that the U.S. is cutting and running.  Nevertheless, if a deal materializes, it could represent the best opportunity in years to secure American interests and downsize U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik

Analysis & Opinions - Real Clear Politics

Counterterrorism in a Time of Great Power Rivalry

| Oct. 02, 2017

Since 11 September 2001 the United States has been able to drive the global counterterrorism agenda as it saw necessary. Those days are over. The global environment has permanently shifted. The open rivalry with Moscow and growing competition with China are going to increase the potential costs on U.S. counterterrorism activity and outright restrain it in others.

President Donald J. Trump addresses the nation on the South Asia strategy during a press conference at Conmy Hall on Fort Myer, Va., Aug. 21, 2017. (DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

DoD photo/Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Trump's War-More Risk Than Reward for US Military Involvement in Afghanistan

| Aug. 22, 2017

It is ironic that when President Trump finally made his first major foreign policy decision, he ran with the advice of his “cooler heads” — the Generals he admires — over his own instincts to cut U.S. losses and get out of this jungle. In extending U.S. involvement in Afghanistan for the narrower purpose of battling the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and associated groups, every U.S. soldier killed and wounded in Afghanistan from this day forward becomes in effect a casualty of the scourge of terrorism the president is determined to thwart.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Meaning of Russia's Campaign in Syria

    Author:
  • Stephen R. Covington
| December 9, 2015

Stephen Covington explains the strategic and tactical reasons for Russia’s deployment to Syria and helps the reader see the world through the eyes of President Putin and his advisors. Together with his earlier paper, “Putin’s Choice for Russia,” published with the Belfer Center in August 2015, this paper provides the reader with the strategic threads that run through contemporary Russian geopolitics. His insights into Russian strategic thinking are based on years of study and practical experience with the Russian military and, his opinion matters as a person who advises NATO’s senior military leaders on Alliance security anddefense matters.

(From Foreword by BG Kevin Ryan (U.S. Army retired), Director, Defense and Intelligence Projects)

January 25, 2012 – President Barack Obama speaking at Intel's Fab 42, an art chip manufacturing plant in Chandler, AZ.

Nick Knupffer/Intel/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Politico

In Iraq, Obama Has Two Terrible Choices

| June 22, 2014

In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war. As sensible as a conditional approach seems, the president simply doesn’t have that option open to him.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.