Marcus Aurelius: The Future of Afghanistan – and US Policy

02 Diplomacy, 03 Economy, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, 11 Society, Budgets & Funding
Marcus Aurelius

The Future of Afghanistan and U.S. Foreign Policy

Foreign Affairs Snapshot, December 15, 2011

In Afghanistan, even minimally accountable democracy may soon be beyond reach. If so, some form of constrained warlord rule will be the most that’s achievable.

The Three Futures for Afghanistan

Snapshot, December 16, 2011

Success in Afghanistan would not be as difficult or expensive as it was for the United States to win wars in Europe or counter the communist threat. Given the risks and the opportunities ahead, an investment in South Asia is worth making.

The Case for Continuing the Counterinsurgency Campaign In Afghanistan

Snapshot, December 16, 2011

The drawdown in Afghanistan may be afoot, but racing for the exits will leave large parts of the country — especially around Kabul in the east — infested with insurgent havens.

A Shift in the Afghanistan Strategy

Letter From, December 1, 2011

The drawdown of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan will proceed rapidly through 2014. As a consequence, the mission will change sooner than many people expect, and that means the fledgling Afghan National Army has to take charge of the fight now.

Afghanistan's Lost Decade

Snapshot, December 15, 2011

Judged by any yardstick, Afghanistan has made little progress since 2001. The United States and its allies have bred an overly centralized and ineffective government in Kabul that is hooked on foreign aid and struggles against a resurgent Taliban. Without serious reforms, the next ten years could be worse.

Washington's Colonial Conundrum in Afghanistan

Snapshot, December 15, 2011

In Afghanistan, the United States faces a choice: either establish a permanent administrative and security presence, or stand back and risk the country becoming a haven for organized criminals and terrorists. Staying forever won’t work, so Washington must accept the risks of withdrawal.

An Absence of Strategic Thinking

Snapshot, December 16, 2011

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is driven largely by domestic politics. That is a privilege of a country that is both rich and safe. But the United States has security interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan that, despite its best attempts, it will not be able to ignore.

Phi Beta Iota:  Nowhere in this edition of Foreign Affairs is there any reference to an over-arching strategic model that is reality-based and focused on the public interest.  Instead, what we have here are a variety of ideological viewpoints that are totally lacking in any sort of “true cost” accounting analytics.