Jul 6, 2015
If neither victory nor a political settlement are likely in the short term, and if complete withdrawal is unpalatable, then the United States must ensure that its support of Afghanistan remains politically sustainable.
Afghanistan has long been a crossroads of world cultures, economies, politics, and militaries. RAND's early research on Afghanistan examined the 1980s Soviet military campaign and the subsequent fundamentalist Islamic regime. Since Operation Enduring Freedom, the 2001 U.S. military effort to rout the Taliban and find Osama bin Ladin's Al Qaeda network, RAND has engaged the new Afghan government, military, and people to support reconstruction, counterinsurgency, and nation-building efforts.