Former National Security Adviser Hadley visits the Hill, Briefs USIP missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan

Former U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley and other top USIP staff briefed Hill members about a trip they took to Afghanistan and Pakistan this fall.

November 17, 2011

Former U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley and other top USIP staff briefed Hill members about a trip they took to Afghanistan and Pakistan this fall.

Hadley, along with Andrew Wilder, USIP’s director of Afghanistan and Pakistan programs, and Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia adviser at USIP, met separately with about 10 House and Senate members from defense and international affairs committees in early November.

It was Hadley’s first trip to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region since joining USIP. The three returned in October. While there, they visited USIP offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan, consulted with American, Afghan and Pakistan government and military officials, and a wide array of business, civil society, think tank, and media representatives.

Hadley came away from Afghanistan with a distinct sense that the U.S. relationship with the country needs to endure for a long time. Peace will come only after a regional settlement, Hadley and others said at a press briefing at USIP. And the on-again, off-again relationship with the Afghan president is growing stronger, especially with Gen. John Allen, the top commander there, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador, working well together.

“The re-set of the relationship with Karzai is well underway,” he said.

In fact, the re-set of the relationship with Pakistan, damaged in part by the U.S. targeting of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May, is also on the mend.

“There may be disputes in the marriage, but divorce is not an option,” Hadley told the reporters.

Many in Washington, and in Islamabad, debate whether the U.S.-Pakistan relationship can be defined as transactional or strategic, a reflection of whether the U.S. is there for the long haul.

“We came away saying it’s both,” Hadley told reporters. “In terms of our investment economically and in terms of development assistance, that’s the strategic part. It should be relatively unconditioned other than the kind of transparency that is required in order to make the aid effective,” he said. “But in terms of security cooperation, counterterrorism, that probably is pretty transactional.”

Hadley, who was national security adviser for President George W. Bush, was hosted in Afghanistan at the Institute’s headquarters in Kabul. “I was overwhelmingly impressed with the potency and relevancy of USIP operations,” Hadley said afterward about his trip to “KBO,” the USIP permanent office in Kabul. “Small footprint, high impact; centers of excellence at the cutting edge of the intellectual discourse on war and peace in these two nations just the way USIP should be. The Institute’s programs are dealing with the key conflict-related issues confronting the United States in the two countries and are looked to within those countries for intellectual leadership on conflict-related issues by both influential officials within the government and key non-governmental thought leaders.”

November 17, 2011