U.S. President Donald Trump recently gave a speech on "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia. President Trump ordered the deployment of about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The decision follows months of deliberation within the Trump administration, involving top military commanders, political advisers and even enlisted veterans of the nearly 16-year war.

Sep 08, 2017
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. After more than 15 years of war and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops, a new president entered the Oval Office poised to fundamentally change that policy. Within months he presented, with great fanfare, a continuation of the same.

Aug 24, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Park Church Co-Op Presents: A Discussion on US-Afghanistan Relations

Guest Speaker: Said Sabir Ibrahimi, Research Associate, New York University’s Center on International Cooperation

Sep 14, 2017
South Asia, Afghanistan
South Asia

Three American presidents have spent nearly 16 years alternately cajoling, coaxing, threatening and bombing Pakistan, all with a goal of trying to change the Pakistani government’s decisions about the factions it supports in Afghanistan’s desperate civil war.

Aug 23, 2017
Barnett Rubin

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
Diplomacy in Action, Richard Gowan

© UN Photo/Isaac Billy

The UN Security Council has the potential to play a greater direct role in crisis response and mediation not only in New York, but in the field. It has done so sporadically in the past. In its early years, the Council experimented with inter-governmental missions to investigate potential conflicts and undertake mediation in cases including the Balkans and Indonesia. In the post-Cold War period, Council missions engaged directly in crisis diplomacy in multip=le conflicts, playing an important peacemaking role in East Timor in 1999.

May 31, 2017

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

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