Strategic Empathy

  • By Matt Waldman, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
April 9, 2014
As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, it leaves violence and uncertainty in its wake. The election of a new Afghan president gives some grounds for optimism and could improve the fraught relationship between Afghanistan and the U.S. But no Afghan election since the 2001 intervention has brought about a diminution in violence – and the conflict shows no signs of abating. The Taliban is powerful, tenacious and increasingly deadly. Civilian casualties are rising and the fighting forces some 10,000 Afghans from their homes every month.  The linchpin of the U.S.

Al Qaeda Controls More Territory Than Ever in Middle East

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
January 7, 2014 |

Talking to the Taliban

  • By John Bew, Ryan Evans, Martyn Frampton, Peter Neumann, Marisa Porges
June 27, 2013

The aim of this report is to examine the evolution of the idea of ‘talking to the Taliban’, analyse its underlying drivers and assumptions, and capture key lessons that may be of use in future conflicts when talks with insurgents will again be on
the agenda.

After the Withdrawal

March 21, 2013

This past Saturday, March 16, 2013 marked an extraordinary moment in Pakistan’s history, as this is the first time that a civilian government has served its entire five-year term (from 2008 to 2013). And, for the first time in its history, the Pakistani military appears both unwilling and unable to mount a coup against any civilian government. The military has mounted four coups since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.

What Went Right?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
March 5, 2013 |

Quick question: Which Asian country has seen its life expectancy go up an astounding 18 years in just one decade, while turning from one of the world's most rural countries into one of its fastest-urbanizing? Oh, and the country's GDP increased tenfold in that same period.No, this isn't Japan in the 1960s, Singapore in the 1970s, South Korea in the 1980s, or India in the 1990s. It is Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban.

The Sidebar: Dispatch from Syria and Spy Doctors

January 17, 2013
Barak Barfi reports on the real state of the Syrian Civil War after returning from a recent trip to the country, and Charles Kenny explains why mixing public health campaigns with covert operations is disastrous. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Ecological Cooperation in South Asia: The Way Forward

  • By Saleem H. Ali, University of Vermont and University of Queensland, Australia
January 14, 2013

The greatest loss of human life and economic damage suffered by South Asia since 2001 has not been due to terrorism and its ensuing conflicts, but rather due to natural disasters ranging from the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the Indus floods of 2010 to seasonal water shortages and drought.  Although such calamities themselves might not be preventable, their human impact can certainly be mitigated. This report argues that such mitigation of environmental stresses is possible only through regional approaches to ecological cooperation.

All Roads Lead to Islamabad

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
October 22, 2011 |

It has been a rough couple of weeks for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The Obama administration's reconciliation and transition efforts and parallel attempts to repair U.S.-Pakistan relations faced fresh challenges as the Pakistan-based Haqqani network was implicated in major attacks against the United States, NATO, and Afghanistan.  

The Ideological Failings of the Afghan War

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
October 6, 2011 |

When the United States led the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the mission was clear: retaliation against the Taliban government for offering safe haven to the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks.

Ten years later, the mission is no longer clear -- not to the American people, not to the Taliban, not to regional stakeholders, and unfortunately, not even to the nearly 100,000 American troops struggling to maintain a sense of purpose in some of the most forbidding terrain in the world. And the criticism and challenges to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan abound. What happened?

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