ISW Experts Available to Discuss NATO Summit

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maggie Rackl  (202) 293-5550 x205 press@understandingwar.org

 

Washington, D.C. – At NATO’s summit in Chicago over the weekend, the focus will be on Afghanistan, and following President Barack Obama’s decision to transition security leadership to Afghans by mid-2013, international leaders will be pressed to make long-term commitments for the transition there. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War are available to talk about the key issues NATO officials will debate and decide at the Summit, including the possibility of reducing the size of the Afghan National Security Forces and withdrawing additional U.S. forces before the end of 2014.
 
“It is penny wise, pound foolish to reduce the ANSF below 352,000 troops in order to save money at the expense of security,” said Jeffrey Dressler, the team lead for Afghanistan and Pakistan at ISW. “The U.S. and NATO must continue to fund the ANSF at its peak strength until conditions on the ground allow for a reduction.”
 
Dressler focuses on security dynamics in eastern and southern Afghanistan and is the foremost expert on the Haqqani network. Dressler has published two authoritative reports on the Haqqani network, The Haqqani Network: From Afghanistan to Pakistan and The Haqqani Network: A Strategic Threat, and most recently wrote about the assassination of Afghanistan High Peace Council member Arsala Rahmani.
 
Senior Research Analyst Paraag Shukla studies Afghan governance at ISW. Shukla helped the International Security Assistance Forces in Kabul plan the 2010 parliamentary elections, and at ISW he has focused on continued efforts to build a functioning government. Recently he has written about the process leading up to the strategic partnership agreement Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed and the electoral reforms necessary before Afghanistan’s presidential election in 2014.
 
Shukla said that because NATO provides funding the Afghan government needs to run the upcoming election, they have leverage to pressure Karzai to strengthen the Independent Election Commission, continue providing localized anti-fraud measures, and make way for an orderly succession at the end of his term.
 
“NATO officials need to make clear that Karzai must adhere to the existing legal framework and that international partners will not accept any changes to the Afghan constitution permitting Karzai to extend his tenure or allow him to run for a third term,” Shukla said.
 
To talk to an Afghanistan analyst, please contact Maggie Rackl at press@understandingwar.org or at (202) 293-5550 x205.
 
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The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.

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