REFRAMING THE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN

If the western world truly seeks victory in Afghanistan there needs to be a better understanding of what that victory looks like. The ongoing peace talks with the Taliban are a necessary first step. And a wide look at history over many conflicts reveals that western nations have succeeded in the past at reaching political solutions through similar negotiations, patience, and international cooperation. WAR ROOM welcomes Tom Spahr to examine why a U.S. military exit from Afghanistan in May 2021, or shortly thereafter, is not feasible. He predicts getting to an acceptable agreement with the Taliban will take years, if not decades, and political and military leaders should plan for the long haul.

AN OUNCE OF BLOOD

All too often U.S. political rhetoric calls into question the resolve of its allies. Have they contributed enough to the ongoing conflicts? Are their defense budgets meeting the threshold of 4% GDP? It’s easy to forget that the young men and women of allied nations are serving, being disfigured and dying on the same battlefields as U.S. service members. WAR ROOM welcomes Todd Johnson as he looks at just one ally, Denmark, and considers its contribution to the Afghanistan war. He remind us that U.S. allies are standing, and falling alongside their American partners and that “the collective blood shed among friends fighting for each other creates a bond unique in its depth and durability.”

“GOOD ALLIES”: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON AFGHANISTAN

War is complex. States often have multiple objectives for sending their sons and daughters in harm’s way Editor’s Note: In February 2019, the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy (ISWS) of the University of St. Andrews and the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) brought together 11 scholars, each representing the view of […]

CONVENTIONAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL WAR ARE NOT OPPOSITES

It seems that Western military forces are doomed to reinvent the wheel every time they are confronted with insurgencies Editor’s Note: In February 2019, the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy (ISWS) of the University of St. Andrews and the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) brought together eleven scholars, each representing the […]

LEARNING PAINFUL LESSONS FROM AFGHANISTAN

Conflicts, both in Afghanistan as well as at home, will continue to have both a complex civilian and military character When the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) finally closed shop in Afghanistan in 2014, many participating nations professed a weariness with complex, civil-military, out-of-area operations. These operations demanded close, often awkward, relationships of cooperation, co-existence, […]