Washington, December 6, 2011 — With a 2014 transition looming in
Afghanistan, U.S. and allied military leaders must recognize that U.S. and
coalition forces will not defeat the Taliban and its allies in the next three
years. The Next Fight: Time for a Change of
Mission in Afghanistan, a report released today by the Center
for a New American Security (CNAS) and authored by Lieutenant General David W.
Barno, USA (Ret.), Dr. Andrew Exum and Matthew Irvine, calls for a change of
mission in Afghanistan.
Barno, Exum and Irvine write, "U.S. and coalition forces must shift away from directly conducting counterinsurgency operations and move toward a new mission of 'security force assistance:' advising and enabling Afghan forces to take the lead in the counterinsurgency fight." They conclude that Afghan forces must move more rapidly to take the lead in Afghanistan while the United States and its coalition allies still have significant numbers of troops and enablers in the country.
To achieve this, Barno, Exum and Irvine offer specific policy recommendations for the Obama Administration, the ISAF/U.S. Forces Commander, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and the U.S. Special Operations Command. Read their recommendations in The Next Fight: Time for a Change of Mission in Afghanistan.
Listen to yesterday's briefing hosted by CNAS on Afghanistan online here. The briefing featured Dr. John Nagl and Lieutenant General David Barno - who just returned from separate trips to Afghanistan - and Dr. Andrew Exum. You may also download the podcast on the CNAS iTunes page. Read CNAS President Dr. John Nagl's piece in Foreign Affairs titled, "A Shift in the Afghanistan Strategy."
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.