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.
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.
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.
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.
On December 17, 2016 Barnett Rubin made a presentation on the subject of “Security and Development Along the Belt and Road Initiative” at a conference hosted by the Belt and Road Building and Central Asian Studies Institute of Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China.
In his first two weeks in office, President Donald Trump's "America First" pledge has proven more than an idle slogan. In word and deed, the White House has signaled an aggressive unilateral stance toward the world that's antagonized allies abroad and divided supporters at home.
World Peace is a noble goal, but not one that can occur in one move. "Building States to Build Peace: A Project of the International Peace Institute" explains that World Peace starts at a national level. Like many things when they first begin, the early years of a state are vital for establishing it for stability and enduring peace. Covering topics such as law, economics, and finance, it also outlines examples ranging from Somalia to Afghanistan.
During 2007-2008, raw opium production in Afghanistan reached a record level of an estimated 8,200 tons. In the same period, the Taliban-led insurgency supported by al-Qaida spread to new areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both countries experienced unprecedented levels of terrorism aswell. After six years of international assistance to the Afghan government, the expansion of both the illicit narcotics industry and the insurgency constitutes a powerful indictment of international policy and capacity.
Given the dramatic loss of life, the fallout in terms of refugees and other serious problems, and the attacks that deadly conflict inflicts on our fundamental values, preventing such conflict and the disorder it sows should be a much higher priority for the United States, other governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).