Afghanistan

As the Trump administration completes its review of policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, public debate is focused on the war’s military component, including President Trump’s decision to delegate decisions on troop levels to the Pentagon. Yet a few thousand more troops alone will be insufficient to end the war. A security plan, including the anticipated troop increase, must be combined with a political strategy that addresses Afghan domestic and regional factors fueling the war.

Jul 13, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Carl von Clausewitz observed, “There is nothing more common than to find considerations of supply affecting the strategic lines of a campaign and a war.”

Jul 11, 2017
Barnett Rubin

As US mulls strategy over country’s support for terrorist groups in Afghanistan, experts say tougher stance could drive Pakistan toward China and Russia

Jun 27, 2017
Sune Engel Rasmussen, Julian Borger, Barnett Rubin

To understand why the United States is stalemated in Afghanistan, one needs only read the testimony of General John W. Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 9, 2017. General Nicholson discussed the number and disposition of troops that might improve the terms of the current stalemate. This is the one factor General Nicholson can affect. Despite the tremendous sacrifices it will entail from the Afghan forces, it has little bearing on the war’s outcome.

Jun 23, 2017
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Barnett Rubin speaks with Hari Sreenivasan of PBS Newshour about the potential deployment of troops to Afghanistan.  A transcript of the interview is provided below.

May 28, 2017
Barnett Rubin

India’s decision to boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum has reinvigorated the much-needed debate on the strategic relationship between the two Asian giants. This debate comes on the heels of the February 23, 2017 India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, where the two states found, among their divergences, a convergence on Afghanistan that contradicts some of Delhi’s received wisdom.

May 26, 2017
Barnett Rubin

© Francois Rihouay/Reuters

Foreign affairs minister set to give major policy speech emphasizing that peacekeeping could cost lives

May 18, 2017
Murray Brewster

CNN's Fareed Zakaria in a recent report on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan highlights Barnett Rubin's War on the Rocks article "It's much bigger than Afghanistan: U.S. strategy for a transformed Region".

May 02, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Whether launching a few missiles at a Syrian air base, sailing an aircraft carrier toward North Korea (or not), dropping MOAB, or sending more troops to Afghanistan, tactical demonstrations of U.S. strength not tied to strategic objectives sooner rather than later deteriorate into bloody demonstrations of futility.

Apr 25, 2017
Barnett Rubin

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a conflict in possession of no military solution must be in want of more troops. Or so one would think from the recommendations on how to succeed in Afghanistan made by Gen. John Nicholson, the force commander in Afghanistan; Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of Central Command; and Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. More troops with “greater authorities” will “break” or “end” the stalemate that all agree exists. “Greater authorities” means putting U.S.

Mar 22, 2017
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan
Afghanistan

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