August 23, 2017

The Only Way Trump’s Afghanistan Plan Would Make Sense

By Stephen Tankel

Monday night, President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for Afghanistan. Trump admitted his instinct was to withdraw from the war-torn country, where U.S. forces have been fighting since 2001. But when push came to shove, fears that international terrorist groups might once again use Afghanistan as a safe haven to strike America tipped the scales. Trump is now pursuing the same goal as his predecessors: to prevent this from happening. He sold his plan to accomplish this as “a new strategy.” It isn’t.

First, strategies articulate a clear political objective and match means to ends. Trump defined victory as “attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaida, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terrorist attacks against America before they emerge.” He never said how America would achieve this. Read the full article in Fortune.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • April 1, 2020
    Can America Trust the Taliban to Prevent Another 9/11?

    For nearly 20 years, the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan has been sustained by a single, vital national interest: the clear and present danger of another September 11–like at...

    By David H. Petraeus & Vance Serchuk

  • Commentary
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • March 10, 2020
    The Afghan peace deal and its eerie parallels with Vietnam

    Last month marked a potential turning point in America’s 19-year war in Afghanistan. In signing a landmark peace agreement, the United States and the Taliban paved the way for...

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Podcast
    • March 4, 2020
    Veterans Of Afghanistan Conflict React To Negotiations Between U.S. And Taliban

    Afghanistan war veterans react to the U.S.-Taliban accord signed over the weekend — one that would start an American troop withdrawal. Listen to the full conversation o...

    By Dr. Jason Dempsey

  • Podcast
    • February 25, 2020
    Countering Terrorists From Afghanistan to Cyberspace

    From serving as a counterterrorism analyst for the Pentagon in Afghanistan to working on security issues at Facebook, Kara Frederick has spent her entire career confronting Am...

    By Kara Frederick & Ilan Goldenberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia