Afghanistan

Washington's Phantom War

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
June 22, 2011 |

One hot summer evening in 2009, in a small village in the remote Pakistani tribal agency of South Waziristan, a pair of Hellfire missiles fired from an unmanned Predator drone slammed into a house, killing the chief of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, along with his wife. About a year later, in May 2010, down a dirt road from Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, a missile from another Predator killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (known as Saeed al-Masri), a founding member of al Qaeda, along with his wife and several of their children.

The Drawdown Debate

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
June 20, 2011 |

The Afghanistan comments -- if perhaps not a fully articulated Afghanistan policy -- expressed by Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (and to a lesser extent, Mitt Romney) provide an opportunity for a real look at a long-term U.S. policy for Afghanistan. The current debate over troop levels is good in that it focuses attention on the problem, but asking how many troops we should withdraw this summer and over the coming year is the wrong question, and much too narrowly focused. To date, our actions in Afghanistan seem to be reactive.

Where Will Zawahiri Take al-Qaeda?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
June 19, 2011 |

There's nothing like finally getting the top job after a decade of faithfully playing second fiddle to a high-profile boss. But for al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, the dour Egyptian surgeon and longtime deputy to Osama bin Laden, succeeding his old leader comes with an unexpected challenge: His predecessor, it turns out, has gifted him a bit of a lemon. In recent years, al-Qaeda has become the Blockbuster Video of global jihad.

The organization and brand are in deep trouble, and Zawahiri is quite unlikely to become the leader who can turn things around.

The White House Debates Afghanistan—Again

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
June 9, 2011 |

The White House debate over how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan next month is really a surrogate for a larger, more fractious debate over the wisdom and strategy of the war itself.

Five Myths About Pakistan

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
June 6, 2011 |

Late last month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said there was no evidence that Pakistani officials had known that Osama bin Laden lived undetected blocks from the country's equivalent to West Point. But after the al-Qaeda leader was killed in Abbottabad on May 1, others were skeptical. "How could they not know?" said Sen. John Kerry (D. - Mass.). "Did nobody have some questions about who the hell was living behind those walls?"

An Insider's View of the Palestinian Unity Deal

  • By
  • Tom Kutsch,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2011 |

A unity agreement signed this week in Cairo between Palestinian political factions marks the first time in 4 years that a Palestinian government will be unified across the West Bank and Gaza (hitherto the territories were split between governments led by Fatah in the former and Hamas in the latter).

The State of Education in Afghanistan and a Report on Afghanistan's High Peace Council

Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 12:30pm

Please join the New America Foundation National Security Studies Program for an intimate, invite-only luncheon and discussion with Farooq Wardak, Afghanistan's Minister of Education and the Chair of the International Relations Committee on Afghanistan's High Peace Council, tasked with spearheading efforts to promote reconciliation with the Taliban. Minister Wardak will address the state of education in Afghanistan and the achievements of the High Peace Council.

This is an invite-only, on-the-record event.

The Outlaw

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
May 16, 2011 |

ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about the life and death of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s use of the media to expand his influence. Writer recalls travelling to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2005, where he saw the house in which bin Laden had come of age and also visited the offices of an advertising agency run by bin Laden’s eldest son, Abdullah. Comments on the similarities between the house in Jeddah and the house in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed.

Programs:

Don't Count on a Peace Deal with Taliban

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
May 24, 2011 |

Recently, both The Washington Post and the German magazine Der Spiegel have reported on meetings between U.S. officials and representatives of the Taliban that have taken place in Germany to discuss some form of peace negotiations.

Talking to the Taliban makes sense, but there are major impediments standing in the way of a deal.

The Raw Truth About the US-UK 'Special Relationship'

  • By
  • Steven Clemons,
  • New America Foundation
May 23, 2011 |

During the tough-fought Democratic presidential primary between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, at a wry moment during a televised debate, Clinton called Obama "very likeable" and he responded with the sterile retort, "you're likeable enough".

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