Articles

We are losing in Afghanistan, on two fronts. The most important center of gravity of the conflict — as the Taliban well recognizes — is the American public. And now, most Americans are opposed to the war.

For years, Afghanistan was “the forgotten war,” and when Americans started paying attention again — roughly around the time of President Obama’s inauguration — what they saw was not a pretty sight: a corrupt Afghan government, a world-class drug trade, a resurgent Taliban and steadily rising U.S. casualties.

Monday, Oct 19, 2009 Revenge of the Drones

As a result of the unprecedented 41 drone strikes into Pakistan authorized by the Obama administration, aimed at Taliban and al Qaeda networks based there, about a half-dozen leaders of militant organizations have been killed–including two heads of Uzbek terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda, and Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban–in addition to hundreds of lower-level militants and civilians, according to our analysis

Monday, Oct 19, 2009 Al Qaeda Taliban merger

Of course, not many suburban guys buy six bottles of Clairoxide hair bleach, as Zazi did on this shopping trip–or return a month later to buy a dozen bottles of “Ms. K Liquid,” a peroxide-based product. Aware that these were hardly the typical purchases of a heavily bearded, dark-haired young man, Zazi–who was born in Afghanistan and spent part of his childhood in Pakistan before moving to the United States at the age of 14–kibitzed easily with the counter staff, joking that he had to buy such large quantities of hair products because he “had a lot of girlfriends.”

Thursday, Oct 08, 2009 Pakistan US Goals Align

Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, is a fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank that promotes innovative thought from across the ideological spectrum, and at New York University’s Center on Law and Security. He’s the author of “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader.”

My testimony will attempt to cover the following areas: al Qaeda’s current threat to the United States; to American interests around the world, and to US allies; likely targets that al Qaeda will attack over the coming years and the kinds of tactics the group is likely to employ in the future; the impact of US counterterrorism measures on al Qaeda as well as other factors that have an impact on the group’s viability; the current status of al Qaeda’s closest allies; and will conclude with some broad observations about American policy in Afghanistan, and how that might impact al Qaeda in the future, as this is a matter of current interest to many policymakers.

Friday, Oct 02, 2009 Putting the ‘I’ in Aid

THE top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, is right to warn that efforts to rebuild that country depend on winning the ”struggle to gain the support of the people.” And few issues do more to stoke the resentment of ordinary Afghans than the tens of billions of dollars of foreign aid from which they have seen little or no benefit. They see legions of Westerners sitting in the backs of S.U.V.’s clogging the streets of Kabul and ask themselves what exactly those foreigners have done to improve their daily lives.

Thursday, Oct 01, 2009 Rebuilding Afghanistan’s treasury

The top American commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley A. McChrystal, is right to warn that efforts to rebuild that country depend on winning the ”struggle to gain the support of the people.” And few issues do more to stoke the resentment of ordinary Afghans than the tens of billions of dollars of foreign aid from which they have seen little or no benefit. They see legions of Westerners sitting in the backs of S.U.V.’s clogging the streets of Kabul and ask themselves what exactly those foreigners have done to improve their daily lives.

In August, President Obama laid out the rationale for stepping up the fight in Afghanistan: If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people. Obamas Af-Pak plan is, in essence, a countersanctuary strategy that denies safe havens to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, with the overriding goal of making America and its allies safer. Under Obama, the Pentagon has already sent a surge of 21,000 troops to Afghanistan, and the Administration is even weighing the possibility of deploying as many as 40,000 more

Story Highlights Source: Man hid bomb in underwear, believing he wouldn’t be searched there Saudis dismiss reports bomber hid explosive in rectum Saudis believe bomber used plastic explosive to pass through metal detectors From Peter Bergen CNN National Security Analyst (CNN) — The would-be assassin of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Nayef hid his bomb […]

Friday, Sep 25, 2009 The Ultimate AfPak Reading List

What follows is the Ultimate AfPak Reading List — an amalgamation of syllabi from classes I’ve taught at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. I’ve included a variety of reading, from books I’ve found particularly insightful on the topic to significant reporting on everything from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to al Qaeda’s media strategy.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, January, 19, 2018 The Syrian Opposition in 2018, New America DC

Thursday, January, 25, 2018 Jaipur Literary Festival, Diggi Palace Jaipur, India

Monday, February, 19, 2018 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Tampa, Florida

Wednesday, March, 07, 2018 Suli Forum, Sulaimani, Kurdistan, Iraq

Monday, April, 09, 2018 Future of War conference, ASU and New America, Reagan Building, DC

MORE EVENTS »

RECENT FILMS

2017 LEGION OF BROTHERS, CNN Films

2016 "We Got Him": President Obama, Bin Laden, and the Future of the War on Terror, CNN

2016 Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, HBO

ALL FILMS »