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Three senior administration officials outlined on Tuesday some of the concepts and processes that went into President Obama’s new plan for Afghanistan.

Between September 13 and November 23 the president chaired 10 meetings of his national security team to deliberate over the new strategy.

The president agreed with the ground commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal’s assessment from the summer that the key goal of the strategy was to reverse the momentum of the Taliban in the next 12 months. He selected from the menu of troop deployment options the one that got American boots on the ground in the most rapid manner.

Chairwoman Harman, committee members, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My testimony aims to address the evolving threat from al Qaeda to the homeland, to include the threat from al Qaeda itself, groups affiliated or allied to al Qaeda, and those “homegrown” militants influenced by al Qaeda ideas who have no connections to any formal jihadist group. This testimony does not aim to be exhaustive but to cover the most serious cases of recent years and to provide some overall threat assessment.

Editor’s note: 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.” Katherine Tiedemann is a policy analyst at the New America Foundation.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, August, 21, 2018 Modern Warfare Symposium, Global SOF, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Friday, September, 07, 2018 DARPA D60 Symposium, Washington DC

Tuesday, September, 25, 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Madrid, Spain

Monday, October, 22, 2018 Conference of European Armies (CEA). Wiesbaden, Germany

Tuesday, November, 13, 2018 Proxy warfare conference, Global SOF, New America, ASU, New America DC

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LEGION OF BROTHERS, CNN Films

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