Conditions in Afghanistan are worse today than they were when the Soviets withdrew, even if the insurgency is weaker. No actors share a compelling vision for the future of Afghanistan. No faction is strong enough to exert full control over the country. As the U.S. and NATO prepare for a drawdown, they must be clear-eyed about the likely outcome.
Al Qaeda is growing stronger in Southern Syria. An assassination campaign targeting mainstream opposition commanders and governance officials is facilitating al Qaeda’s consolidation of power along the borders of Jordan and Israel. Southern Syria stands at increasing risk of becoming a second Idlib Province, which currently serves as a formidable safe haven for al Qaeda.
Leaving a bare-bones U.S. presence will risk a return of the Taliban—and civil war.
Will the United States continue to conduct counterterrorism operations in South Asia? That question is central to any discussion about U.S. troop presence and mission in Afghanistan.
From sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Haqqani family hosts a variety of high-value terrorists, including senior members of al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Lashkar-e Taiba and smaller terrorist entities linked to attacks in the UK. It also supports a global jihadist ideology that transcends objectives in Afghanistan.
This monograph provides a framework for understanding operational art in counterinsurgency campaigns. In addition to the framework, the monograph describes how one set of strategic civil-military leaders achieved sufficient alignment in order to produce unity of effort and coherency of action throughout the civil-military organization.
On Sunday, gunmen assassinated Maulvi Arsala Rahmani, a top negotiator for Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) in Kabul.