• Heritage Action
  • More

Defining and Achieving U.S. Objectives in Afghanistan

Recorded on February 20, 2009

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

As numerous Afghanistan strategy reviews circulate in Washington and U.S. officials sound discordant notes on the way forward in the war-torn country, it is time to get back to the basics in defining our objectives and identifying the resources necessary to achieve those objectives. Last year saw the highest number of Afghan civilian casualties and coalition forces deaths to date, which has led to wavering support for the Afghanistan mission both at home and abroad and opened the door for some muddled and obscure thinking on the objectives and direction of U.S. policy in the region.

But securing and stabilizing Afghanistan is a vital U.S. national security interest. And in the words of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it is possible to attain "our strategic objectives of: an Afghan people who do not provide safe haven for al Qaeda, reject the rule of the Taliban, and support the legitimate government they elected and in which they have a stake." Please join us as our panel of experts examines what constitutes success in Afghanistan, how do we achieve it, and what the stakes are for the United States.