South Asia

20 Items

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Report - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

How Al-Qaeda Survived Drones, Uprisings, and the Islamic State: The Nature of the Current Threat

    Editor:
  • Aaron Y. Zelin
| June 2017

In this new Policy Focus, Washington Institute fellow Aaron Y. Zelin compiles case studies demonstrating how each part of al-Qaeda's network has evolved and survived the various challenges it has faced roughly since the Obama administration took office. Written by eminent scholars, practitioners, and government officials from the United States and abroad, the chapters are informed by a recent workshop in which the participants gave candid, off-the-record assessments of numerous key issues, including al-Qaeda's current strategic outlook, a close examination of its branch in Syria, its branches outside of Syria (AQAP, AQIM, al-Shabab, and AQIS), and its current financial situation.

Report - Stimson Center

Pakistan, India, and China After the U.S. Drawdown from Afghanistan

| January 2015

This paper examines the strategic future of South Asia in the wake of the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan through three key research questions: first, how does the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan affect the regional security and economic interests of India, Pakistan, and China? Secondly, what kinds of responses to terror attacks by India, Pakistan, and China could further destabilize the region? Thirdly, what key steps can the United States take to prevent further instability in this context?

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."

Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James G. Stavridis, General David H. Petraeus (new Commander of ISAF) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a news conference at NATO Headquarters, July 1, 2010.

DoD Photo

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

NATO in Afghanistan: Turning Retreat into Victory

| December 2013

NATO after Afghanistan is an organization that suffers from a certain fatigue pertaining to future stabilization challenges. NATO will not automatically cease to conduct operations after 2014, but the level of ambition will be lower. The Afghanistan experience and the failures of the light footprint approach calls for a thinking that is less liberalist "in the abstract" and more focused on provision of basic services (security, development, and governance).

Discussion Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center

NATO in Afghanistan: Democratization Warfare, National Narratives, and Budgetary Austerity

| December 2013

This paper explains changes in NATO's nationbuilding strategy for Afghanistan over time as an internal push-and-pull struggle between the major NATO contributors. It distinguishes between he "light footprint" phase, which had numerous problems connected to limited resources and growing insurgency (2003–2008), NATO's adoption of a comprehensive approach (CSPMP) and counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy (2009–2011), the transition and drawdown (2011–2014), and the Enduring Partnership (beyond 2014). The paper explains NATO's drawdown, stressing both increased budgetary strictures compelling decisionmakers to focus on domestic concerns nd predominant national narratives connected to a protracted stabilization effort in Afghanistan.

First stage in the Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, 20 October 1986.

Wikimedia Commons

Report - International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence

Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History?

| July 2013

Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History? provides a history of attempts to talk to the Taliban. The publication of the report coincides with the announcement that the United States will begin direct negotiations with the Taliban within days. The report charts the history of talks with the Taliban and their forebears. It explains that such talks are nothing new and that contacts have existed between the Taliban and the West for many years and argues that attempts to negotiate with the Taliban since 2001 have been characterised by wishful thinking, bad timing, poor management and the 'chaos of good intentions'.

Shia youths from the Pakistani Kurram tribal area stage a mock scene during a rally demanding peace in their region, near the Presidential House, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Apr. 25, 2011.

AP Photo

Paper - Combating Terrorism Center

Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: Identity Politics, Iranian Influence, and Tit-for-Tat Violence

| September 2010

"Western analysts can no longer afford to ignore the growing potential for sectarian violence in Pakistan, for uncontrolled sectarian violence can destabilize Pakistan and the region at large. Internally, sectarian groups prefer to conduct their attacks in the Punjab, the center of gravity of the country's military and political elite. Attacks against Pakistan's Shia are also bound to have regional implications, since they can further stoke tensions between Pakistan and its neighbor Iran, a Shia-majority state."

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Report - Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University

No One in Charge: A New Theory of Coordination and an Analysis of US Civil-Military Coordination in Afghanistan 2001–2009

| April 2011

This dissertation challenges the argument common in the scholarly literature and policy discourse on peacebuilding that the way to achieve coordination in peacebuilding is to establish a strong, overarching coordination authority.

Mujahedeen rebels, holy warriors, are shown as they rest high in the mountains in the Kunar province area in Afghanistan in May 1980.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: Islam and Transnational Militancy

| February 2011

"...[F]oreign fighter mobilizations empower transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, because war volunteering is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy. For example, when Muslims in the West radicalize, they usually do not plot attacks in their home countries right away, but travel to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan first. A majority of al-Qaida operatives began their militant careers as war volunteers, and most transnational jihadi groups today are by-products of foreign fighter mobilizations."

Pakistani police officers escort an armored car carrying Mumtaz Qadri, the alleged killer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, to an Anti-Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Jan. 6, 2011.

AP Photo

Report - United States Institute of Peace

Reforming Pakistan's Police and Law Enforcement Infrastructure: Is It Too Flawed to Fix?

| February 2011

An effective police force is critical to countering insurgency. In Pakistan, an understaffed and underequipped police force is increasingly called on to manage rising insecurity and militant violence. This report evaluates the obstacles to upgrading the existing police system and recommends traditional and innovative reform options, including major restructuring of the total civilian law enforcement infrastructure, without which the police force cannot be effectively improved.