As the U.S. draws down troops in Afghanistan and seeks to move forward with negotiations with the Taliban, there are conflicting assessments about the political and military situation inside the country. During his State of the Union address, President Obama stated that “the Taliban’s momentum has been broken” and that he is “winding down the war.” However, a recently leaked secret NATO report, based on interrogations of thousands of captured Taliban fighters, paints an entirely different picture. The NATO report highlights that Taliban leaders are confident their movement will re-take power when NATO forces depart Afghanistan and that they put little stock in talks with the international community. Meanwhile, the Administration is reportedly contemplating releasing five battle-hardened Taliban leaders from the Guantanamo Bay military prison facility in order to jumpstart negotiations. Join us as our panelists discuss these developments and whether the U.S. is on course to achieve its objectives in the region.
More About the Speakers
Ambassador Ronald Neumann
President, American Academy of Diplomacy, and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation
Senior Research Analyst, Institute for the Study of War
Senior Legal Fellow, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs