Showing posts with label exit-strategy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exit-strategy. Show all posts

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Complexities of Afghan Endgame

A news article explains the complexities of the Afghanistan mission and ultimate endgame. During his 2012 re-election campaign President Obama pledged to end the Afghan War in 2014. Well, he is withdrawing troops and cutting back sharply on U.S. involvement - but the war certainly has not ended. 11,000 U.S. troops still remain in Afghanistan at the start of 2015. Many are engaged in advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan Security Institutions but some are still advising on the ground with Afghan units (SOJTF-A) and others are conducting limited counter-terrorism operations. Read more in "Impossible to gloss over the complexities of the Afghanistan endgame",, January 1, 2015.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Afghan Force Package for 2013

In a recent interview (Friday, March 23, 2012) with Public Broadcast System's Charlie Rose program - General Allen, the ISAF Commander, provided insight for how troop levels in 2013 and 2014 will be determined. He said that a number of factors and considerations will provide input into his recommendation to President Obama.

Some of these factors include the state of the insurgency, the operational environment, level of partner nation troop levels in 2013 (could be around 40,000), the status of the partnership with the Afghan government,

Read more about Gen Allen's statements during the interview about Afghan force levels in 2013 in "Allen to Examine Afghanistan Force Package", American Forces Press Service, March 24, 2012.

View the hour-long interview on the PBS Charlie Rose website. Other topics in the interview include observations on Karzai, corruption, Koran burnings, Panjwai massacre, and night raids.

General John R. Allen bio on ISAF website.

Is General Allen In Tune with US Mood on Afghanistan?

Juan Williams, a Fox News commentator, has published an opinion piece about General John Allen's recent testimony before Congress. Williams says that Gen Allen is not reading US public opinion accurately and does not realize that the US population is overwhelmingly in favor of getting out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. Read his article in "Could we leave Afghanistan early?", Fox, March 23, 2012.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obama's War of Necessity - Not so Necessary

President Obama, in years past, has described Afghanistan as a 'war of necessity' - which, he was quick to point out, the Iraq War was not. The words 'war of necessity' are being used less now that we have a time-table for withdrawal (2014), a questionable outcome, and pressure is mounting within the United States for an accelerated departure. Obama is banking on negotiations with the Taliban (which the Taliban have temporarily withdrawn from) and the strengthening of the Afghan National Security Forces. Unfortunately, he has two very difficult problems - an ineffective and corrupt Afghan government without the support of the population and an insurgency with sanctuaries in Pakistan and support from the Pakistani military and intelligence services. Read more on this topic in "Obama's Retreat from his 'War of Necessity'", By Marvin Kalb, Brookings, March 19, 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

US Plan for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (2012-2014)

The plan for the US withdrawal is slowly taking shape. The goal is for the US and NATO to turn over all security responsilities to the Afghans by the end of 2014 if not sooner. The drawdown will start this spring. By fall of 2012 we should be down to 68,000 troops in Afghanistan. By late 2013 ISAF will stop conducting combat operations. Details of the withdrawal are available on the Long War Journal website. See "US withdrawal from Afghanistan: the plan for 212, 2013, and 2014", by CJ Radin, March 18, 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Negotiations: The Only War To End the Afghan War?

One noted observer of the Afghan War, Stephen Biddle - a Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes that negotiations with the Taliban may be the best option to disengage from the conflict in Afghanistan. See "Ending the Afghan War", Council on Foreign Relations, March 16, 2012.

Should the U.S. Speed Up Its Withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Over the past month - since the Koran burnings, shootings of NATO troops by Afghan security personnel, and the Panjwai massacre - there have been calls for an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan from across the political spectrum. This topic is explored in a recent National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast with two opposing views. One view held by Jon Soltz -is the current counterinsurgency is not working. Another view, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, is that if the U.S. pulls out now the Afghan civil society will suffer grave consequences. Read the transcript here in "Should the U.S. Speed Up Afghanistan Withdrawal?", NPR, March 16, 2012.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Many Calls for Change in US Strategy in Afghanistan

The print media and Internet is full of commentators writing opinion pieces about whether we should stay in Afghanistan, keep our current strategy and timeline, or just start loading troops onto transport planes and fly them home. One opinion writer, Eugene Robinson - editor, foreign correspondent, author, and more - provides us with his thoughts on the subject. See "End the Afghan mission now", The Washington Post, March 12, 2012.

Mission Accomplished in Afghanistan

While many commentators have been stating that our mission in Afghanistan has failed and it is time to bring the troops home - other commentators believe that the mission is accomplished and it is time to bring the troops home. It is likely the withdrawal of U.S. troops will be accelerated. There will be a reduction of about 22,000 by September of 2012 and another redeployment possible by the middle of 2013. Read the comments of Romesh Ratnesar - deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and a fellow at the New America Foundation in "In Afghanistan, the U.S. Mission Is Accomplished", Bloomberg Businessweek, March 14, 2012.

Examining the Afghan Mission

David Ignatius, an opinion writer, has commented on the reaction to the Panjwai massacre by a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and the current Afghan strategy that the U.S. is following. Read his comments in "How to end the Afghan mission", The Washington Post, March 13, 2012.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Things Get Tougher for Special Operations in Afghanistan

Things are going to get tougher for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) that will inherit the mess that is now Afghanistan in 2014. The recent events that have taken place (urinating on bodies, Koran burning, Panjwai killings, etc.) are testing the limits of trust between ISAF and Afghan security forces and the Afghan population's acceptance of an occupation force. Read one man's assessment of the situation - Dan Cox is an associate professor of political science for the U.S. Army School of Advanced Studies (SAMS). See "The Test Case in Afghanistan for Special Operating Forces", Small Wars Journal, March 12, 2012.

Time to Wind Down in Afghanistan?

An editorial looks at what we have accomplished in Afghanistan and what the future will likely bring us. It's conclusion is that the right strategy is to wind down our involvement in Afghanistan. Read more in "Afghanistan on edge", LA Times, March 13, 2012.

Afghanistan: Time to Go? One Columnist Says Yes.

Many leading officials in government, the military, and in Congress are conducting a reassessment of what we have accomplished in ten years and what we could hope to accomplish by 2014. That reassessment is not optimistic. Some are advocating cutting our losses. Some sources say we have lost 1,800 U.S. military with 15,000 wounded. The war has cost us about $400 billion and much of it unaccounted for due to Afghan government corruption. Read Michael Hirsh's column where he says administration officials and members of Congress are thinking "It is time to go". See "The Coming Upheaval in U.S. Afghanistan Strategy", National Journal, March 12, 2012.

Call for New U.S. Strategy - By Anthony Cordesman

The recent events of the Quran burning and killing spree in Panjwai have caused many observers to comment on the current strategy we have for Afghanistan - and changes to that strategy we should consider. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) provides us the Afghan perspective and the U.S. perspective of the situation in Afghanistan and with three strategy options. The first strategy he calls "exit by denial", the second is "honest exit", and the third is "real transition". Read more on his thoughts on strategy in "New U.S. strategy needed in Afghanistan", CNN World, March 13, 2012.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gambling on Special Forces in Afghanistan

Many have commented on the new shift in strategy in Afghanistan - pulling out conventional troops and relying more on special forces units that will hit high-value targets and build up local security forces.  Some see it as a chance to fail - read more in "US gambles on special forces in Afghanistan strategy", Google Hosted News, February 12, 2012.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Insurmountable Battle in Afghanistan

The chief correspondent of The Sydney Morning Herald has wrote an opinion piece on the war in Afghanistan.  Although he recognizes that the military has obtained some tactical gains in the south he points out that two crucial factors will offset those tactical gains.  The first is Pakistan's refusal to go after the Taliban that use the sanctuaries along the border in Pakistan.  The second is the Afghan population's refusal to support a corrupt and inefficient central government in Kabul.  Read his article in "Obama faces insurmountable battle in Afghanistan" published on December 20, 2010.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Effort in Afghanistan Needs a Policy Ground in Reality

Louis Arbor - a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - is currently the president and CEO of the International Crisis Group.  Read an insightful critique of the war strategy by Arbor in "Get real: That's the road to Afghan peace", The Globe and Mail, December 23, 2010.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec 2010 Report Card on Afghanistan

With the end of the year approaching many are grading the US involvement in Afghanistan in terms of progress made.  See "For Obama, A Mixed Report Card From Afghanistan", NPR, December 10, 2010.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

24 Non-Military Solutions to the Afghan War

The New World Strategies Coalition, Inc. offers 24 non-military solutions for the Afghan War.  Some interesting reading.  The coaliton is a group of "private contractors who provide strategies and creative solutions to solve problems." View these at the link below:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leaving Afghanistan - 2011 or 2014?

It appears there is a shift in the strategic communications about U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.  The withdrawal date of summer 2011 has shifted to the right it seems.  Read more in "U.S. Tweaks Message on Troops in Afghanistan", The New York Times, November 10, 2010.