December 06, 2011

CNAS Authors: It's Time for a Change of Mission in Afghanistan

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
titled, "A Shift in the Afghanistan


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.