December 6 2013
photo by Staff Sgt. Jerry Saslav/U.S. Army
This commentary appeared in Foreign Policy on December 4, 2013.
It is relatively easy to criticize what's going wrong in Afghanistan. It is much harder to propose a realistic way forward. Seth Jones and Keith Crane have done just that. Some critics are content to recommend “get out” or “give up,” but Jones and Crane in a new report for the Council on Foreign Relations, “Afghanistan After the Drawdown,” suggest a calibrated political and military approach that protects U.S. interests at a realistic level of manpower and investment.
I served on the advisory committee for the report, which means I gave input that the authors were free to accept or ignore. The committee included folks with an impressive level of knowledge and experience on the subject, including Andrew Wilder of the U.S. Institute of Peace and Ronald Neumann, former Ambassador to Afghanistan; and folks across the ideological spectrum, including Steve Biddle, whose knowledgeable views I appreciatively critiqued in a previous post; and Micah Zenko, with whom I shared a debate about the dangers America faces in the pages of Foreign Affairs a year ago.