Sunday, October 29, 2017

Commentary on Afghanistan

Failure of SFA. Mara Karlin writes that the concept of training and equipping foreign militaries is not the big ticket item that many senior policy makers believe it to be. Read "Why Military Assistance Programs Disappoint" Foreign Affairs, Nov / Dec 2017.

Thinking about South Asia Strategy. Doug Livermore, a former Special Forces officer, writes up his thoughts on the new strategy of the Trump administration. In regards to Pakistan, Livermore believes that the new South Asia Strategy seeks to change Pakistan's destabilizing actions through punitive means
". . . that do not address the underlying causes that motivate Pakistan's behavior in the first place. By tackling the root causes that drive Pakistan's support for the Taliban and other groups, the US could fundamentally alter the course of the conflict and increase the likelihood of arrival at an acceptable and durable political arrangement."
Apparently, it is all about the Durand line. Read "Rethinking the South Asia Strategy - Addressing the Root Causes of Afghanistan / Pakistan Tensions", Georgetown Security Studies Review, October 23, 2017.

Keeping the Pressure on Pakistan. One commentator, Mohammad Taqi, says the US needs to continue putting pressure on Pakistan. (The Wire, Oct 24, 2017).

Afghanistan Still a Fragile State - Why? An analysis of what went wrong in Afghanistan over the past 16 years and the way forward is provided by Shahmahmood Miakhel. He is a former Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and is currently serving as the Country Director of the United States Institute for Peace in Afghanistan. Despite Enormous Support of International Community, Why is Afghanistan Still a Fragile State?, Afghanistan Diplomacy Studies Organization, August 30, 2017.

Analyzing R4S Plan. Earlier in October Secretary of Defense presented to Congress the new strategic plan for Afghanistan known by the acronym R4S - for regionalize, realign, reinforce, reconcile, and sustain. Daniel L. Davis, a retired Army officer with time in Afghanistan, provides his thoughts on how this strategy will fail in "The Afghanistan Illusion", National Interest, October 23, 2017.

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