South Asia

45 Items

Soldiers quickly march to the ramp of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter that will return them to Kandahar Army Air Field on Sept. 4, 2003. The Soldiers were searching in Daychopan district, Afghanistan, for Taliban fighters and illegal weapons caches.

U.S. Army Photo

Report - New America Foundation

Strategic Empathy: The Afghanistan Intervention Shows Why the U.S. Must Empathize with its Adversaries

| April 2014

"...[H]ow did such vast and sustained investments not deliver a more favorable outcome? Conditions were undoubtedly challenging, but most observers — and indeed U.S. officials — agree that major mistakes were made....But the most egregious error of the United States was to pursue a strategy founded on a misreading of its enemy."

GHŌR, Afghanistan: May 28, 2012, Former Taliban fighters line up to handover their rifles to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a reintegration ceremony at the provincial governor's compound.

DoD Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan's Release of Taliban Prisoners—An Empty Deal

| November 12, 2013

At the request of Afghan officials, Pakistan has reportedly released almost 40 Taliban combatants, supposedly to help spur peace negotiations. But experience shows this is wishful thinking. These prisoner releases give the Taliban something they want, while providing nothing in return.

Ambassador Salahuddin Rabbani, Chairman, High Peace Council of Afghanistan and •	Ambassador Jim Warlick, U.S. Deputy Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan open the "Future of Afghanistan" conference on April 4, 2013 at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

End war, but don’t abandon Afghanistan

| April 11, 2013

Professor Burns shares his key takeaways from the "Future of Afghanistan" conference he co-hosted on April 4-5 at Harvard. Like most wars, this will not be won on the battlefield; rather, it will be brought to an end in a negotiated solution between the Afghan government and the Taliban. He reminds us that the U.S. government has a basic responsibility, moral as well as political, to stay involved as the majority of Afghans wish, but that we should seek greater political and financial support from Afghanistan’s powerful neighbors — Russia, China, India, and Iran.

Hindu Kush mountains, central Afghanistan

Matt Waldman Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

An Afghanistan Write-Off Isn't an Option

| January 25, 2013

"Only Afghans can reconcile their differences. But the international community can play a critical role in creating the conditions in which this can happen. It should be rooted in ground realities and Afghan interests. It must ensure that international policies do not unwittingly intensify local or national power struggles or undermine stability."

A destroyed Soviet-made armored military personnel carrier vehicle is seen in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb.15, 2012, the 23rd anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Don't Prolong the Inevitable

| April 3, 2012

"...Afghanistan is not a vital United States interest. President Obama had said that we must prevent Al Qaeda from establishing safe havens there, but Osama bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda already has better safe havens elsewhere. Victory in Afghanistan will not eliminate Al Qaeda, and leaving won't make it more dangerous."

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

Aisha Ahmad: Knowledge Without Action Is Injustice

  • Dominic Contreras
| Spring 2012

As a child, Aisha Ahmad remembers vividly the arms bazaars in Peshawar and the throngs of bearded mujahedeen commanders as they passed through her grandfather’s smoke laden offices in the Pakistani frontier province.Though she was born in the UK and grew up in Canada, her family retained strong ties with their native community and during her youth Ahmad regularly traveled to the unruly Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

Afghans burn an effigy depicting U.S. President Barack Obama following the Mar. 11 killing of civilians in Panjwai, Kandahar by a U.S. soldier during a protest in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Mar. 13, 2012.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - GlobalPost

Afghanistan Atrocity Prompts Rethink of US Policy

| March 13, 2012

"The great folly of this long-term plan is that propping up such a corrupt regime will necessarily generate insurgency. No Afghan will stay at home while local strongmen engage in rape, murder and extortion. Therefore, the international community's plan is to support a weak central government that is corrupt enough to incite rebellion against it, but strong enough to at least partially suppress that rebellion. In other words, the international community is on course to maintain a low-intensity civil war in Afghanistan, ad infinitum."

A soldier, part of the coalition forces, holds his weapon during a gun battle with Taliban militants in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sep. 14, 2011. The 20-hour attack  ended after Afghan police killed the last few insurgents who had fired upon the U.S. Embassy.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

How the US funds the Taliban

| September 19, 2011

"Money, our money, is ripe for the taking for the Afghans who profit from instability in a nation we keep vowing is ready for peace. The nearly 20-hour insurgent assault against the American Embassy in Kabul earlier this month was brazen and unprecedented. It seems there is no end to the insurgents’ capacity to fund and arm themselves."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press event at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 23, 2011. Karzai says his nation's youth will stand up and defend its country as the U.S. begins to pull troops out.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Let's Face up to Reality about Karzai

| June 24, 2011

"[W]e can live without Karzai; we don't have a vital interest in a specific individual ruling Afghanistan. We cannot tie our continuing military engagement to a man whose only attribute is that he isn't the Taliban. Troops are dying in alarming numbers, coupled with the billion-dollars-a-month investment in a war that is now longer than Vietnam."