This report produced by the U.S. Defense Department offers a slice of life look at U.S. military operations in Afghanistan through Operation Brass Monkey, a recent mission in the remote Saygal Valley in the eastern part of the country.
What future does the United States Army face? During eight years of operations in Iraq and 10 years in Afghanistan, the Army has shifted from being a force focused on high-intensity conventional operations to one more comfortable fighting a dispersed enemy intermingled with the population. However, operations are winding down in Iraq, and an endpoint seems to be nearing in Afghanistan. Armed with the collective experience developed in the War on Terror, how will the Army move forward to face new challenges and threats? The answers involve political and military considerations that may contradict each other. The fact that the […]
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. foreign policy. Part I examines the militarization of U.S. foreign policy following Sept. 11. Part II will examine ways to reverse this trend. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the single deadliest terrorist attack in American history — the work, not of a foreign army, but of al-Qaida, a nonstate actor. The U.S. wasted little time in responding. The Taliban government in Afghanistan that had provided safe haven for the terrorist group was quickly deposed by a combination […]
As part of a conference hosted by Beijing University, I spent last week conducting interviews and participating in roundtables with Chinese academics and government officials. Many of these talks addressed recent developments in Afghanistan, a country of strong interest to China due to its proximity, natural resources and historical links to regional terrorism and narcotics trafficking. Based on my conversations and other sources, it is clear that Chinese policymakers hold conflicting sentiments regarding the planned U.S. and NATO military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has already begun and will likely be completed in a couple years. Chinese officials expressed their commitment […]