South Asia

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Analysis & Opinions - Deutschland Funk

US-Truppen kämpfen wieder in Afghanistan (in German)

| Aug. 22, 2017

Cathryn Cluver, interviewed on radio station Deutschlandfunk Nova, offers analysis of President Trump's August 22 speech concerning the war in Afghnistan. She notes that the president's current point of departure is the change in role of US forces in Afghanistan, but  deep diplomatic strategy is needed to ensure the cooperation of Pakistan, India and government and security forces in Kabul and the provinces - the reality of which is unlikely given that the State Department abandoned its Special Envoy and still doesn't have an Ambassador in Kabul. 

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.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster pauses while speaking to members of the media

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What's the Point of Donald Trump's Afghan Surge?

| May 17, 2017

"I don't really think Trump understands any of the underlying issues, but McMaster — who served for several years in Afghanistan and has the reputation of being an independent thinker — should. Here are five questions someone should ask McMaster about this new policy, along with some background to each one."

Jan. 10, 2017: a member of the Afghan security forces stands guard near the site of two blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

'Mission Accomplished' Will Never Come in Afghanistan

| Mar. 28, 2017

"What began in 2001 as a focused effort to topple the Taliban and rout al Qaeda has become an endless, costly, and unrealistic effort with no clearly discernible endpoint and little hope of success. It has become our forgotten war, and the chief aim of those in charge of the operation seems to be keeping it off the front pages and out of the public eye."

A Royal Air Force Reaper RPAS (Remotely Piloted Air System) at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Ross Tilly (RAF)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Separating Fact from Fiction in the Debate over Drone Proliferation

Claims that drones will soon remake warfare or international politics are unwarranted. Although almost a dozen states now possess armed drones, and more are racing to acquire them, they will not play a decisive role in interstate conflicts. Drones will rarely be “winning weapons,” because they are vulnerable to air defenses. States will, however, continue to use drones against terrorists and domestic opponents.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for a Conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, Oct. 5, 2016. The 2-day conference, hosted by the EU, will have the participation of over 70 countries to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The 2016 Epidemic of Afghan War Amnesia

| October 16, 2016

"...[T]he well-intentioned Western effort to create a new Afghan state from scratch was equally misguided, as the new constitution envisioned a centralized, Western-style government in Kabul that was at odds with Afghan history and traditions. It also presumed a level of administrative competence and a revenue base that far exceeded Afghan capacities. Yet none of the international participants who embraced this outcome seemed to realize they had taken on an unrealistic and open-ended burden and that the new Afghan state would be dependent on lavish outside support more or less indefinitely."