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Jun 10

Afghanistan: Will the Push into Kandahar Turn the Tide of the War?

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U.S. and coalition forces are pouring into Kandahar – the Taliban birthplace and center of gravity – in an effort to shift momentum in the nine-year-old war. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen has called the Kandahar operation “the cornerstone of our surge effort,” and its success or failure is likely to determine the future course of the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan. The goal of the offensive is to uproot the Taliban, while protecting the local civilian population, and to improve Afghan governance and public opinion towards the international forces. The Taliban have made their presence felt in Kandahar primarily though a campaign of assassination and intimidation against the Afghan people and periodic attacks on coalition forces, including an audacious attack on the Kandahar Air Base on May 22.

What is the campaign in Kandahar likely to involve? How will the coalition forces ensure security of civilians as they push into the Taliban stronghold? What are expectations for the upcoming Peace Jirga to begin June 2 and efforts to reconcile Taliban fighters? How are other countries in the region viewing the U.S.-led efforts and what are their calculations regarding the future of Afghanistan? Join us as our distinguished panel seeks answers to these questions and provides insight into current developments in Afghanistan and the region.

More About the Speakers

Dr. Kimberly Kagan
Institute for the Study of War

J. Alexander Thier
Afghanistan and Pakistan,
The United States Institute of Peace

Lisa Curtis
Senior Research Fellow on South Asia,
The Heritage Foundation

Sally McNamara
Senior Policy Analyst,
European Affairs,
The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

James Phillips James Phillips

Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs Read More