National Security Network

NSN Roundup: Beginning a Responsible Transition

Print this page
Report 24 June 2011

Afghanistan Afghanistan

This week the National Security Network was in the forefront of analyzing and framing President Obama's pledge to begin a responsible transition in Afghanistan by removing 33,000 "surge" troops by the end of 2012.

NSN Daily Updates:

NSN Welcomes President's Announcement on Afghanistan 22 June 2011. NSN released a statement within minutes of President Obama's Afghanistan speech, welcoming the beginning of a responsible transition.

Transition in Afghanistan 21 June 2011. NSN discusses the progress made in Afghanistan and the broader context for the impending reduction in American forces.

The Consensus for Substantial Reductions in Afghanistan 15 June 2011. NSN highlights the support among security experts, congressional leaders, and the American public for a significant troop draw down in Afghanistan.

NSN Commentary:

Leslie Gelb, chairman of NSN's Advisory Board and president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), writes in the Daily Beast that President Obama could have announced "Mission Accomplished" given his successes against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and that outgoing Ambassador Eikenberry was right to give President Karzai a stern message.

NSN Board Member Brian Katulis writes in Foreign Policy that America still needs to figure out what it wants to get done in Afghanistan.   

NSN Board Member Michael Cohen argues in The Atlantic that by declaring this drawdown, President Obama took back control of the war in Afghanistan.

NSN Fellow A.J. Rossmiller highlighted in The New Republic three major developments in U.S.-Afghan relations this week, beyond the president's announcement, which suggest a positive shift in the primary U.S. role in Afghanistan toward facilitating political talks.  

NSN Policy Analyst Jacob Stokes explained in The American Prospect that we must broaden the discussion on Afghanistan beyond troop numbers to long-term political and economic opportunities and challenges key to greater success in the country.  

NSN in the Press:

General Eaton appeared on Current TV's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" to explain the military logic for shifting from a counter-insurgency to dual counterterrorism and Afghan force development missions.

NSN Executive Director Heather Hurlburt outlined to Yahoo! News the rightful responsbility of the American president to consult with and then command the military, with the Afghanistan troop drawdown decision being a prime example. She also appeared on Bloggingheads TV to provide commentary and analysis following the president's announcement on Afghanistan. The segment was featured in the New York Times.

NSN Board Member Brian Katulis appeared on PBS's NEWSHOUR, arguing that while a dramatic pullout of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would likely create instability in the region, we need to motivate the Afghan forces to take control of their own country and not become overly dependent on U.S. forces. He also noted in the New York Times that President Obama is correct to signal that America needs to strike a better balance between security and domestic spending.

For more clips of NSN in the news, read here.