December 01, 2009

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.

  • John A. Nagl

    CNAS Board of Advisor, Headmaster, The Haverford School

    Dr. John Nagl is the ninth Headmaster of The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania and a member of the Board of Advisors at the Center for a New American Security. &nbsp...

  • Richard Fontaine

    President

    Richard Fontaine is the President of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at CNAS from 2009-2012 and previously as fo...

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