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Insurgency

POLITICO ARENA: What is the Legacy of the Late Diplomat Richard Holbrooke?

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2010 |

We live in a cynical age that doesn't often allow us to call certain public servants "wise men" or among the "best and brightest," at least not without ironic edge. But that is what Richard Holbrooke was, a tribute to the proposition that the country needs some of its best talent to look out for American interests overseas, and make the world a safer place.

Remembering Holbrooke

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2010 |

It was not easy to construct a quiet hour or two with Richard Holbrooke. I saw him regularly, as did other journalists and researchers who worked on Afghanistan and Pakistan, but a long sit-down took some effort. Holbrooke was an accessible, open, and attentive person, but he was also in perpetual motion. He moved from meeting to meeting, conversation to conversation, and if you managed to sequester him somewhere for fifteen minutes or more, his cell phone was sure to ring—Islamabad, Kabul, the Secretary of State, somebody.

Programs:

A New Deal: A Plan for Sustainable Afghan Stability

  • By Bijan R. Kian and Wayne Porter
December 6, 2010

America’s strategic interest in Afghanistan and South Asia extends beyond the immediate denial of a safe haven for al-Qaeda.  In a wider context, strategic opportunities converge in Afghanistan that could help to stabilize the region, expand a lucrative market for U.S. investors and exporters, help restore America’s credible influence in the Islamic world, reduce narcotics production, and maintain an environment nonconducive to extremism.

Crazy Like a Fox

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2010 |

Is Hamid Karzai crazy? Maybe. But to several senior U.S. and NATO officials, civilian and military, the Afghan president's mental state is, at the moment, the least of their worries. Their bigger fear, triggered by an interview that Karzai gave on Nov. 13 to the Washington Post, is that his goals in the war are very different from U.S.

The Drone Wars

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2010 |

In late May, some 16 miles down a dirt road from the main town in the isolated tribal region of North Waziristan, a missile from an unmanned Predator drone slammed into a house owned by local tribesmen and killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a founding member of al-Qaeda and its top operational leader in Afghanistan. His wife and several of their children were also killed.

The Battle for Afghanistan

  • By Anand Gopal
November 9, 2010

As Afghanistan’s cultural and political heartland, Kandahar is a province of key strategic importance for foreign forces, the Afghan government, and the insurgency. A sizable chunk of the Taliban’s senior leadership hails from the province, and the cultural and political dynamics of rural Kandahar shape aspects of the movement’s character to this day.

This study attempts to understand the Taliban of Kandahar by looking at the factors that spurred their rise and the networks and structures through which they operate. The findings include:

Are We Starting To Win?

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
October 22, 2010 |

U.S. and Afghan forces are "routing the Taliban in much of Kandahar Province," according to a front-page story by Carlotta Gall in today's New York Times—in large part the result, Gall reports, of "a new mobile rocket that has pinpoint accuracy."

The rocket has destroyed insurgents' hideouts, killed their commanders, and driven many survivors to throw down their arms, abandon their positions, or in some cases retreat to Pakistan.

FATA: Inside Pakistan's Tribal Regions

October 20, 2010

The New America Foundation's Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative today announced the launch of "

Inside Talibanistan

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • Brian Fishman,
  • New America Foundation
October 19, 2010 |

After a summer of souring reports on the state of war in Afghanistan, the "surge" of 30,000 additional U.S. troops is now in place. And not a moment too soon: U.S. President Barack Obama has already pledged to make a decision in July 2011 about how many troops to bring home. So the window of time in which to contain or sufficiently weaken the Taliban is rapidly closing. The problem is, the "Taliban" doesn't really exist — or at least, not in the way the term is normally used.

A New Plan for Afghanistan

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
October 13, 2010 |

Officials say a shift in U.S. war strategy has begun to take place in Afghanistan, away from classic counterinsurgency (protecting the population, providing basic services, promoting good government) and toward the traditional business of killing and capturing bad guys.

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