October 03, 2014

Bensahel: A Step on the Path Toward Stability

By Nora Bensahel

The bilateral security agreement was a necessary step toward long-term stability in Afghanistan, but it is not sufficient by itself. Without it, however, Afghanistan would have virtually no chance for stability for two important reasons.

First, the Afghan National Security Forces are not yet capable of maintaining security throughout the country without the assistance of U.S. forces. Their capabilities at the small unit level have improved considerably in the past few years, but they still face challenges operating in larger, combined arms formations. And they still depend on key, U.S. enabling capabilities, including close air support, logistics and casualty evacuation. If the bilateral security agreement had not been signed, all U.S. forces would have had to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year – and the enemies of the new government in Kabul, including the Taliban, would have certainly launched an offensive against the weakened Afghan forces. The resulting conflict would have intensified the fighting in areas where it is already occurring. And it likely would have further spread instability and conflict throughout the rest of the country.

Read the full response at USNews.com.

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • September 9, 2019
    Two Cheers for Esper’s Plan to Reassert Civilian Control of the Pentagon

    The longest-ever gap in civilian leadership atop the Department of Defense came to an end on July 23, when Mark Esper was sworn in as secretary of defense. His presence in the...

    By Loren DeJonge Schulman, Alice Hunt Friend & Mara Karlin

  • Video
    • October 5, 2017
    CARE: Humanitarian Aid Cuts & National Security

    A number of prominent figures are speaking out in opposition of the proposed cutbacks to the US foreign aid budget. CNAS CEO Michele Flournoy, along with many other former sen...

    By Michèle Flournoy

    • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • June 15, 2016
    Au Revoir QDR

    Whatever version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) emerges from the House-Senate conference process later this year, it seems likely that the 20-year old Quadre...

    By Loren DeJonge Schulman & Shawn Brimley

    • Commentary
    • May 12, 2016
    The DIUx Is Dead. Long Live The DIUx.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter launched his high-profile Silicon Valley outpost a year ago to great fanfare and high expectations. Less than a year later, he has completely over...

    By Ben FitzGerald & Loren DeJonge Schulman

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia