Afghanistan/Pakistan

Latest in Afghanistan/Pakistan

China

In Pakistan’s Financial Crisis, an Opening for Chinese Lawfare

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued last month that there was “no rationale” for allowing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to divert “tax dollars” to Pakistan, since the IMF members’ funding, including that of the United States, would be used to bail out “China’s bondholders or China itself.” Pakistan is going through a grave financial crisis.

Foreign Policy Essay

Drone Blowback: Much Ado about Nothing?

Editor’s Note: One of the most common, and seemingly convincing, critiques of the drone program is that it produces "blowback"—each miss that kills civilians, or even each hit that kills a militant, angers locals near the blast zone and inflames national sentiment against the United States in ways that aid militant recruitment. Such arguments are difficult to evaluate, but Aqil Shah of the University of Oklahoma did extensive survey and interview research on this question.

Afghanistan/Pakistan

The International Religious Freedom Act: A Primer

The new year has not, so far, seemed to have brought with it a new zenith for U.S.-Pakistan relations. On Jan. 1, President Donald Trump tweeted that Pakistan has offered “nothing but lies & deceit” in exchange for American aid, and “give[s] safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.” Soon after, on Jan.

Foreign Policy Essay

The Art of Dealing with the Taliban

Editor’s Note: As the Trump administration weighs its options in Afghanistan, one of the biggest questions is whether to continue talks with the Taliban via its office in Doha—an office set up with strong U.S. support. Here the president's desire to reduce the U.S. role will crash into his goal of being perceived as tough on terrorists. Candace Rondeaux, the founding director of the RESOLVE Network and a long-time regional expert, believes Trump can learn from himself. By applying the steps in The Art of the Deal, she offers lessons for the administration.

Afghanistan

Part II: The Case Against Involvement in Afghanistan

In my previous essay, I laid out arguments for continued involvement in Afghanistan. In this essay, I present the opposing view.

The Case Against Involvement

The case for involvement prioritizes future risk; the case against involvement focuses on the considerable cost of past U.S. efforts and the seeming futility of attempts to improve the situation.

Afghanistan/Pakistan

Toward a Redefinition of ‘Winning’ in Afghanistan

There has been no shortage of editorial commentary on the potential impact of having military officers occupy so many senior positions in the Trump Administration. Whether the development is good or bad, they have certainly influenced the re-crafted policy in Afghanistan set forth in President Trump’s speech on Monday.

Afghanistan/Pakistan

Why Are We Losing in Afghanistan?

After much soul-searching, President Donald Trump intends to order the deployment of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Although he avoided giving a specific number of troops in his speech to the nation Monday night, the president laid out the case for renewing the U.S. involvement in that country, citing the legacy of 9/11, the dangers of premature withdrawal and the range of security threats in the region.

Afghanistan

The State of State-Building in Afghanistan

At first glance, the Afghan state seems to be badly flailing, if not outright failing. Kabul’s politics are as divisive and paralyzed as at any time since 2001, while the Taliban presence is growing in the countryside. But beneath the turbulent surface, a widespread and abiding commitment to the survival of the Afghan state has emerged that merits recognition and support.

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