National Security Network

Afghanistan

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Principles for an Afghanistan Strategy

Afghanistan
When the Obama Administration began a 60-day review of its Afghanistan strategy, a diverse group of progressive experts in development, counter-terrorism, regional politics and US politics came together to advise NSN on a set of principles that might guide both the Administration in building a new strategy and advocates in Congress, the media and the public in judging a proposed strategy. We begin from the premise that the situation in the United States, and the history and dynamics of the region, require a sharp differentiation between objectives that we might like to achieve and a baseline of what must be achieved for our national interests and our moral obligations – to our military, our citizens and the people of Afghanistan.
Read the full paper: The Progressive Approach: Afghanistan »

Afghanistan

NSN Welcomes President's Announcement on Afghanistan (Updated)

Press Release 23 June 2011

Washington D.C. - Last night, President Obama pledged to remove 33,000 "surge" troops by the end of 2012, in keeping with his 2009 promise. The national security network released the following statement welcoming the commitment to steady returns home of American troops from our country's longest war:

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Afghanistan

Stokes: Troop Think

News The American Prospect 22 June 2011
Afghanistan

Transition in Afghanistan

Report 21 June 2011
Tomorrow, President Obama will announce his plan for a reduction of American forces in Afghanistan starting next month. Reports indicate he will pledge to remove 30,000 “surge” troops by the end of 2012. That plan would begin a gradual but sustained transition and is broadly supported by commanders on the ground. These numbers exist in a broader context. Beginning the transition means recognizing the successes of the core counterterrorism mission -- with 20 of the top 30 terrorist targets in the region having been killed on Obama's watch. It means putting Afghans in the lead following an increase in resources that helped stabilize the situation after years of neglect. America’s commitment in Afghanistan has been costly and lengthy. Troop reductions will allow Afghans to take responsibility for their own country and begin to align American interests in the country with our commitment there. The next challenge lies in the overall mission, military but above all political and economic. Troops that remain should focus on continuing to root out terrorists. The secondary focus for the security mission should be training Afghan security forces to take the lead in protecting their country. Importantly, making security gains last will require a renewed focus on a political solution, both between parties in Afghanistan and regionally; governance reforms; and fostering sustainable economic growth.
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Afghanistan

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Eaton Discusses Afghanistan Strategy

News Countdown with Keith Olbermann 21 June 2011
Afghanistan

Time to get out of Afghanistan

News Seattle pi 17 June 2011
Afghanistan

The Consensus for Substantial Reductions in Afghanistan

Report 15 June 2011
President Obama is currently conducting a review of America’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan. He will announce the size of the July 2011 drawdown in the coming days. National security experts, public opinion leaders as well as a growing number in Congress and the public all support a substantial troop drawdown starting next month. Their reasons for supporting a substantial reduction vary, as do specific recommendations on the number of troops that should be withdrawn. But a consensus has formed around the conclusion that a substantial drawdown would help align American interests with our commitment in Afghanistan and push Afghans to take responsibility for their own safety and governance. In that context, the National Security Network has put together a special report outlining that consensus. Below are excerpted quotes demonstrating that consensus. The full report can be found here.
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Afghanistan

Public, Experts Look for Significant Troop Reductions

Report 7 June 2011
Yesterday the White House indicated that the promised July 2011 troop reductions from Afghanistan will be “real” and decided “very soon.” A growing array of bipartisan experts, having considered core U.S. interests, conditions on the ground and the sustainability of the effort, has called for beginning significant reductions next month. New poll numbers out today show the public supports that approach. As the U.S. and our allies transition responsibilities to Afghans, it’s essential to look beyond military measures to stabilize the country. The focus should be broadened to promote a political settlement that can represent all of Afghan society, improve governance and foster robust economic growth.
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