January 12, 2019

Afghanistan Strategy on Stage: Five Key Questions for the Administration

By John A. Nagl and Richard Fontaine

The upcoming congressional testimony of the administration’s national security team on Afghanistan may be the most pivotal since September 2007, when General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified about the “surge” in Iraq. At that time, Crocker and Petraeus appeared before skeptical congressional committee members, many of whom were unconvinced by reported progress in Iraq and unsure about the way forward. The testimony galvanized media attention and helped turn the political debate in Washington away from considerations of troop withdrawals.

Similarly, the testimony of Obama administration officials about the way ahead in Afghanistan will garner enormous attention from Congress, the American people, and others around the world. Whether their words will alter the political dynamic on this critical issue remains to be seen; what is certain is that the world will listen closely for indications of U.S. intentions and resolve. As this testimony takes shape, Congress and the administration should consider five key questions.

Read the full paper.

Download PDF

  • Podcast
    • October 13, 2021
    Economic Crisis in Afghanistan

    Alex Zerden, founder and principal of Capitol Peak Strategies discusses the economic crisis in Afghanistan. He spoke with Bloomberg's David Westin. Listen to the full convers...

    By Alex Zerden

  • Video
    • September 28, 2021
    Dealing with Afghanistan Under the Taliban

    CEO of the Center for a New American Security Richard Fontaine shares his take on the future of Afghanistan under the Taliban with NHK-World Japan.Watch the full conversation ...

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • September 20, 2021
    How America Should Deal With the Taliban

    As the United States ends its mission in Afghanistan, U.S. policymakers have already begun to reckon with American military failures over 20 years of fighting. But the war’s d...

    By Lisa Curtis

  • Video
    • September 16, 2021
    Some United States aid to Afghanistan should be conditional, says national security expert

    Lisa Curtis, senior fellow and director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, former deputy assistant to the president on the Nationa...

    By Lisa Curtis

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia