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.
Considerable policy analysis has been devoted to bilateral strategic relationships between Pakistan and India, India and China, and China and the United States. But the strategic dynamics among these four nuclear powers cannot be understood or effectively addressed on a strictly bilateral basis. While Pakistan responds strategically to India, India responds both to Pakistan and China, which in turn responds both to India and the United States.
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.
On December 16, 2016, President Obama, speaking at his last White House press conference, suggested to Donald Trump that, “Since there's only one president at a time,” the president-elect should wait “before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments other than the usual courtesy calls.”
Dr. Barnett Rubin recently gave a keynote speech entitled "Afghanistan's Road to Self Reliance" to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Stockholm, Sweden on 9 December 2016. A video and summary of the speech is available below.
Fifteen years have passed since the international community’s intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. Since the drawdown of international forces, Afghanistan has not been able to secure peace and stability. What are the principal domestic and regional factors that deter and enable achieving these objectives? How can the country move forward?
This article examines the main cooperation fields between China and the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the post-NATO period. In doing so, this study looks at the initiation of various bilateral joint projects as a distinctive turning point in China-US relations. It argues that existence of such bilateral projects and cooperation in this region does not only produce added value for the countries in question but also have the potential to enhance the mutual relations between China and US.
Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications.
Since 2009, the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University has supported the development of regional approaches to Afghanistan by co-convening a series of structured dialogues among regional stakeholders. Since the initial meeting in June 2009 in Dubai, CIC has co-convened seven meetings including Istanbul (January 2010), Dubai (December 2010, April 2011), Oslo (June 2011), Dubai (September 2011), Oslo (September 2011), and Abu Dhabi (January 2013).