The standard for victory in Afghanistan was never could the United States win, but when could the United States leave and what would it leave behind.
U.S. security requirements and national interests cannot begin to justify the human, strategic, and financial costs of a continued, large-scale U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. It is long past time to accept the risks and difficult compromises of a negotiated settlement.
A discussion about the role of the United States in shaping up the new world order, the trade war, and U.S. strategy on its Afghanistan exit.
The goal of the United States should be to create conditions that leave the possibility for Afghans to build a more legitimate government and security sector in future decades.
Using U.S. leverage to craft an Afghan settlement demands incredible deftness in both Washington and Kabul. More, certainly, than either administration has yet displayed.
A discussion of the four key elements of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s domestic politics, and the challenges to achieving a sustainable peace.
India must recognize that any response to the attack at Pulwama can at best mitigate—not eliminate—Pakistani terrorism. But India can do much more to equip and protect its security forces.
Important details need to be worked out in U.S. talks with the Taliban and the Afghan government. But even if these things cannot be agreed on, the United States should still withdraw.
Whether the recently agreed-upon U.S.-Taliban draft peace framework will lead to real peace negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban or serve as U.S. President Donald Trump’s pretext for departing Afghanistan is unknown. The hard choices for the United States, the Afghan government, the Taliban, and regional and international stakeholders are still to come.
If the United States effectively uses its considerable residual leverage in Afghanistan, Pakistan does not try and turn Afghanistan into a weak protectorate, and the Taliban does not overreach inside Afghanistan, there is reason for optimism.