The European Union’s Afghanistan policies are the result of two different and contradictory constituencies: the transatlantic one, consisting of the United States and its European interests, and, on the other end of the spectrum, local party activists, who view Afghanistan as an unnecessary and dangerous war.
In the United States, the debate over the future of the war in Afghanistan is playing out in public, with the report by General Stanley McChrystal representing one fundamental position, and Senator John Kerry’s October 26 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations representing another.
As this year's presidential election illustrated, Afghanistan’s key problem is its lack of a credible government; while most Afghans do not want the Taliban back, they see the government of Hamid Karzai as entirely corrupt.
Offshore oil reserves are too small to significantly impact world oil prices or U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Alternatives to offshore drilling exist and could maximize long-term environmental, economic, and security gains.
USAID—the largest source of U.S. democracy assistance—requires deep-reaching reforms if the Obama administration hopes to adequately address challenges to democracy around the world.
The reality is that many Afghans see Kabul as part of the problem, and a runoff election is unlikely to change that. If the new Afghan government is to earn public support, and NATO is to find a way out of Afghanistan, a civilian surge will be vital.
When Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general, addresses an audience at Carnegie Europe on Friday, 18th September, he will speak about the possibility of a new dialogue between two former foes – NATO and Russia. Dmitri Trenin suggests that these discussions could initially take place through the NATO-Russia Council of 2002, but in time, that they might spawn a new framework altogether.
The EU should commit itself to a ‘civilian surge', but with Afghan rather than European civilians.
Both the U.S. and French Presidents, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, have brought key opposition figures into their administrations. As Fabrice Pothier argues, in both cases their policy influence has been minimal.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's new Secretary-General, must provide transformational leadership, not just status-quo management, for the alliance to bridge the chasm between its ambitions and its capacities.
The EU-Pakistan summit should mark the beginning of a new strategic partnership that helps Islamabad deal with its immediate crisis and helps transform a weakened state into a modern Muslim democracy.
Obama has made listening and dialogue the trade-mark of the first 100 days of his foreign policy. Europe has responded with more rhetoric when what the transatlantic relationship really needs is commitment and courage.
The narcotics industry in Afghanistan and the region around it supports domestic instability and increases the terrorist threat emanating from the region. There needs to be a regional and multi-faceted approach to combating the problem.
Although Obama's renewed strategy towards Afghanistan has been received well in Europe, the war in Afghanistan will now be an American war with international help rather than a coalition effort.
China wants to look like a leader at the G20 summit by highlighting the extent of its stimulus package ($586 billion) as well as the relative health of its financial system.
Fabrice Pothier explains the scale of the the opium problem in Afghanistan and argues for a decoupling of counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations.
The Dalai Lama problem has been in the way of an EU-China "strategic partnership" for a long time, and there continues to be miscalculations on both sides about each other's stand on this issue.
Five fallacies continue to dominate discussions of the future of European and NATO strategies in Afghanistan, and undermine the hard questions on effectiveness.
As part of a wider approach to counter-terrorism, Saudi Arabia has implemented an innovative rehabilitation program for the less extreme offenders. Christopher Boucek gives a brief assessment of the program and the lessons the West can learn.
NATO's new war on drugs in Afghanistan will put troops in greater danger for a venture that may not even work. It just might be the straw that breaks the alliance's back.