Q&A: Obama’s Troop Decision and Afghanistan’s Stability

Q&A: Obama’s Troop Decision and Afghanistan’s Stability

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

By: USIP Staff

Today, President Obama announced that he would extend the presence of roughly 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of his term in January 2017, revising previous plans to cut force levels to around 5,500 soldiers at the end of the year. Afghanistan will be among the top issues for the NATO Summit of leaders in Warsaw, taking place later this week on July 8-9. USIP Vice President for Asia Programs Andrew Wilder, who recently returned from Afghanistan, discusses the issue of troop n...

Violent Extremism; Economics & Environment; Global Policy

Q&A: Drone Strike's Impact on Afghanistan, Pakistan

Q&A: Drone Strike's Impact on Afghanistan, Pakistan

Monday, May 23, 2016

By: USIP Staff

The death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour, who reportedly was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on May 21, raises a host of questions about the Taliban’s future, U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and American relations with Pakistan. The strike, which Pakistani officials have protested, was the first publicly-disclosed military action by the U.S. inside Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, and the first to directly target senior Taliban leaders sheltering o...

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

Technocratic Reforms in Afghanistan: Benefits and Limitations

Technocratic Reforms in Afghanistan: Benefits and Limitations

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

By: William Byrd

Afghanistan’s “technocratic” reforms have resulted in impressive progress in areas such as public financial management. However, these reforms alone will not solve the country’s pressing security, political, and economic problems. This brief outlines the benefits and limitations of technocratic reforms and emphasizes that government and international attention should not be diverted from concrete, short-term measures to improve government functioning, strengthen security, and stimulate a mode...

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

Afghan First Lady: Justice Reform is Hopeful 'Snapshot'

Afghan First Lady: Justice Reform is Hopeful 'Snapshot'

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

By: Fred Strasser

Afghanistan’s first lady, Rula Ghani, countering what she called the “prophets of doom and gloom,” said extensive reforms to her country’s legal system over the past 18 months are beginning to deliver results and illustrate potential progress. Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Ghani said the unity government headed since January 2015 by her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah understand the need to provide fair and effective justice to Afghanistan’s p...

Violent Extremism; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance

Laura Bush Urges Sustained Support for Afghan Women

Laura Bush Urges Sustained Support for Afghan Women

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

By: Fred Strasser

Former first lady Laura Bush said the international community must continue to support the reconstruction of Afghanistan and progress for the country’s women through aid, investment and an ongoing presence of American troops. Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace on March 15, Bush said she remains hopeful for the country’s future, in part because of the spirit of Afghan women and the strides they have made in education, business and government.

Gender; Democracy & Governance; Economics & Environment; Global Policy; Human Rights

Poor Planning, Coordination Cited in Afghan Intervention

Poor Planning, Coordination Cited in Afghan Intervention

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

By: Gopal Ratnam

Failings by the United States and its NATO partners in the early stages of the 15-year-long war in Afghanistan have prolonged that country’s need for international troops and economic help, U.S. and German officials said in a recent forum at the U.S. Institute of Peace that examined the lessons learned during the past decade.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Violent Extremism; Civilian-Military Relations; Global Policy

Urgent Imperative: Get Afghanistan’s Government Working

Urgent Imperative: Get Afghanistan’s Government Working

Thursday, December 10, 2015

By: James Rupert

Ten weeks after the Taliban briefly captured Kunduz, Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city, neither the fractured government nor the country’s political class is showing signs of heeding that wake-up call—or the other flashing warnings that the 14-month-old government is close to failure. While the United States quickly announced the reversal of its planned withdrawal of forces from the country, the factions in Kabul must figure out how to cooperate in governing, and Washington must do all it can to advance that, analysts say.

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance