Analytical articles

Afghanistan could become battleground for US-Iran proxy war – much to its detriment

Richard Olson The National Jan 7, 2020 It would almost certainly trigger internal strife as various minorities and their militias with longstanding relationships with Tehran react against their own government It is safe to assume that Iran will react to the killing of Qassem Suleimani through violent but asymmetric means. An Iranian counter-strike might not come

Afghanistan shows the dangers of relying on the Pentagon to assess war

By John Sipher  John Sipher, a former chief of station for the CIA, worked for more than 27 years in Russia, Europe and Asia. He is the co-founder of Spycraft Entertainment. The Washington Post Jan. 6, 2020 Administrations increasingly depended on the military to deliver assessments on Afghanistan. A U.S. soldier stands guard on a watchtower overlooking

What America Needs to Learn from the Afghanistan Papers

by Amitai Etzioni The National Interest December 29, 2019 Washington must find ways to institutionalize the wise lessons that Colin Powell drew from the war in Vietnam. Namely, that the country shall engage in war only if it has clear goals, can use overwhelming force, and command wide public support. Arguably the most shocking takeaway from

The Afghan war: A failure made in the USA

The US-made mess in Afghanistan has much to do with its failed policies and shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude. by Ahsan I Butt Al Jazeera 23 Dec 2019 US army soldiers fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan on June 12, 2011 [File: Baz Ratner/Reuters] Last

Afghanistan wasn’t destined to fail. Here’s how we could have fought it better.

Greg Jaffe The Washington Post Dec. 20, 2019 at 6:00 a.m. EST Why hasn’t the United States learned how to set achievable goals? An American soldier in Afghanistan’s Khost province in 2011. (TED ALJIBE/AFP/GETTY) In 2009, when the Pentagon and the White House were preparing to pour 33,000 more troops into Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Brett

What ‘The Afghanistan Papers’ Got Wrong

Scott Smith United States Institute of Peace 19 December 2019 The problem was not that U.S. officials lied to the public—it’s that for so long many believed that the war was winnable. The Washington Post last week published a series, “The Afghanistan Papers,” that made the case that U.S. officials consistently lied about the prospects

Everyone Knows America Lost Afghanistan Long Ago

BY STEPHEN M. WALT Foreign Policy magazine DECEMBER 16, 2019, 6:18 PM Inflated threats, concealed costs, and lack of accountability for failure—and the complicity of the foreign-policy establishment—have kept the infinity war going for 18 years. Last week, the Washington Post published a massive set of documents on the protracted and still unsuccessful U.S. war in Afghanistan, a conflict that

No, we couldn’t win in Afghanistan. But we shouldn’t leave without a peace deal.

Laurel Miller The Washington Post Dec. 17, 2019 at 12:31 p.m. EST Even knowing what we now know, a hasty exit isn’t the answer. Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, speaks to troops during a visit to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9. (Phil Stewart/Reuters) The Washington Post’s

Ending the Afghan exile

Some 2.7 million Afghans live as refugees abroad. Their future depends on solidarity and action today. by Indrika Ratwatte Al Jazeera 16 December 2019 Afghan refugee girls gather at the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran on October 22, 2016 [File: Reuters/Gabriela Baczynska] This month marks 40 years since the Soviet invasion

THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS:  A secret history of the war — Part 2

STRANDED WITHOUT A STRATEGY Bush and Obama had polar-opposite plans to win the war. By Craig Whitlock Dec. 9, 2019 The Washington Post    PAKISTAN BORDER, 2009 (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, TAMPA, 2002 (Christopher Morris/VII/Redux)   ARLINGTON CEMETERY, SECTION 60, 2014 (Amanda Voisard for The Post) In the beginning, the rationale for invading Afghanistan was

Analytical articles