The United States is combating terrorism in Afghanistan to keep it from reverting to a safe haven for terrorists like those who struck on September 11, 2001. Efforts by the U.S. and its allies and partners in Afghanistan to facilitate and defend stable democratic governance are essential to reducing the terrorist threats to U.S. national security.
President Obama must avoid shortsighted policies that undermine U.S. friends in Afghanistan and Pakistan while encouraging America's enemies.
President Obama provided a clear signal that his Administration intends to dedicate the time, resources, and, most important, U.S. leadership necessary to stabilize the region and contain the terrorist threat in South Asia.
The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released a scathing report criticizing U.S. counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Referencing an unprecedented spike in opium production in 2013, the report warned that the nearly $7.6 billion the U.S. government spent on counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan is failing to…
Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…
File it under “things you don’t see very often.” A press release from Republican Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, declaring, “I appreciate the efforts of Secretary Kerry….”
Accolades from across the aisle have been few and far between for an administration that has suffered an almost endless string of foreign-policy reversals since 2008. Indeed,…
President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will.
But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…
Afghans went to the polls Saturday, but results won’t be in for at least another two weeks. If none of the candidates wins a majority of votes (the most likely scenario), a run-off election will have to be held probably in late May or early June.
The Taliban did their best to deter voting and undermine the electoral process in Afghanistan.
In the weeks running up to…
Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures, a foreign policy heavy weight. At a recent black-tie dinner, he stood—stoop-shouldered and peering imperiously over his signature thick, black-frame glasses—and remarked: “Unilateral withdrawal is not victory.”
Whom could he have been talking…
After 12 years of fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan and failing to convince Pakistani leaders to crack down decisively on terrorist bases on their side of the border, American military planners are considering providing Pakistan with billions in leftover equipment from the war. A Washington Post story from last weekend indicates that U.S. military planners are…
The Obama Administration has lost confidence in the government in Afghanistan, and it is easy to understand why. After the loss of nearly 2,300 U.S. troops in 12 years of military operations and the investment of over $90 billion in U.S. reconstruction aid, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a security pact allowing for a residual U.S. force presence…
Christmas fast approaches. What better time, then, to write of Easter Seals. And veterans.
The combination is not nearly as odd as it may sound. Let’s start with Easter Seals. It has long been one of America’s most well-known charities.
The organization started in 1919 as a charity to help children with disabilities. In the early days, it was known…
It sounds like a soap opera… and it might be nothing but theatrics after all.
The very public back and forth over whether Afghanistan will adopt a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) allowing U.S. and NATO troops to remain in the country after 2014 has been dramatic, to say the least. After months of wrangling between Kabul and Washington, the pact was dumped on the Loya…
month, several individuals detained as "enemy combatants" will make
their appeals for freedom to the highest court in the land. Perhaps
now, more than any other time in recent memory, the eyes of the
world are intensely focused on the United States Supreme Court. In
making their decisions, they must walk a fine line between
protecting the civil liberties we all…
Ma Ying-jeou, inaugurated as Taiwan's new president on May 20, 2008, has pledged to strengthen Taiwan's economic and political relationships with China. At the same time, he has good reason to preserve Taiwan's separate identity, and the U.S. has good reason to support him. Taiwan is one of the most dynamic democracies in Asia and one of America's top 10 trade partners.…
A few Members of Congress,
motivated by American combat in the Middle East, have called for
the reinstatement of a compulsory military draft. The case for
coercing young citizens to join the military is supposedly based on
social justice?that all should serve?and seems to be
buttressed by reports of shortfalls in voluntary enlistment.
In a New York Times op-ed…
Testimony before the
Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
Committee on Foreign Affairs
United States House of Representatives
October 29, 2013
Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center
The Heritage Foundation
My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies…
(Archived document, may contain errors)
THE SOVIET INVAS./ON OF AFGHANISTAN INTRODUCTION On December 27,
1979, under cover cf an ongoing Soviet military buildup,
heavily-armed elements of a Soviet airborne brigade were airlifted
into Kabul, Afghanistan, to violently overthrow the regime of
President Hafizollah Amin. Within hours after the beginning of…
Afghanistan is the number one producer of opium (the raw material for heroin), producing over 90 percent of the world total. Gross revenue from drugs is equal to about 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). When Pakistan transitioned from a drug-producing country to a drug-transit country and the Soviets occupied Afghanistan during the 1980s,…
Testimony before the
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade,
United States House of Representatives
September 13, 2012
My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not…
As part of an ongoing process to ensure that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are ready and capable to take over the lead for security in Afghanistan by 2015, the U.S. has agreed to purchase up to 86 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for future service in the Afghan Air Force (AAF).
Many on Capitol Hill are questioning why the Department of Defense is buying…
The Obama Administration is considering leaving no U.S. troops behind in Afghanistan after it ends its combat mission there in 2014. This would undermine U.S. security interests, as it would pave the way for the Taliban to regain influence in Afghanistan and cripple the U.S. ability to conduct counterterrorism missions in the region.
President Obama instead should commit…
Overshadowed by the announcement in President Obama’s State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be brought home from Afghanistan was an acknowledgement that the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) need to improve. The U.S. should argue that the ANSF should not be reduced in numbers as currently planned, and the White House should press…
On October 9–11, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 28 defense ministers will meet in Brussels. The top priority for the United States at this ministerial meeting should be ensuring that NATO demonstrates resolve and commitment to Afghanistan—especially in light of the recent “green on blue” attacks. The Alliance needs to realize that reforms such as Smart Defense…
America’s Enduring Leadership in Asia
America has been engaged in Asia since a few decades after securing its independence.
Its early interest is documented in the 1833 Treaty on Amity and Commerce between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Siam Thailand), and later in the market-opening 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The U.S. has, in fact, been a “resident…
Despite the degradation of al-Qaeda’s core leadership based in Pakistan and its increased reliance on regional affiliate...…
The high voter turnout for the April 5 election in Afghanistan (nearly 60 percent) in the face of insurgent violence and...…
Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers...…
Afghans went to the polls last Saturday, but results won’t be in for at least a week. If none of the candidates wins a...…
Several members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist group have been arrested in the lead up to elections in...…
As the U.S. continues to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, possibly all of them by the end of the year, Members of...…
Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures,...…
Canada’s final remaining training troops in Afghanistan will soon return home. The official lowering of the flag...…
Movie critics have called "Lone Survivor" the best war-time movie since "Saving Private Ryan."
The film -- based on...…
Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist...…
Senior Research Fellow
Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs
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