The CEO of the Blackwater Corporation has suggested that the U.S. should privatize the war in Afghanistan, and the administration is reportedly giving it some thought. It is important not to dismiss this plan categorically, but to consider it on the merits. Doing so highlights the risks of such a plan.
Aug 4, 2017 Newsweek
President Obama's decision to preserve troop strength in Afghanistan is a major step in the right direction. But his commitment to continued support for President Ghani and the national unity government as they pursue critical reforms will determine whether the U.S. troop commitment has any value.
Nov 5, 2015 War on the Rocks
The Taliban battled its way into the center of Kunduz this week, with media reports saying it seized control of the northern Afghanistan city at least for a time. A trio of RAND experts participated in a Q&A on the situation and its significance.
Oct 2, 2015 The RAND Blog
The American model for large-scale development of partner nation armies is failing. The massive push for numbers and the attendant dilution of training is at odds with building a cohesive army with the will to stand and fight, predicated upon an unproven assumption that a “large footprint” is itself a decisive strategy.
Jul 15, 2015 War on the Rocks
For frontline civilians, daily life built around war often involves waking up on a remote base and working side by side with soldiers in hazardous places. They often don't get the care and support that they need, whether in an area of crisis and instability, or when they return home.
Jul 6, 2015 Los Angeles Times
The bulk of the Islamic State of Khorasan is thought to be in Pakistan, but the group is trying to make inroads into Afghanistan. That said, the group's actual ability to operate in Afghanistan appears rather limited.
May 4, 2015 World Affairs Journal
Matiullah Khan was an Afghan militia leader turned police chief whose rise to power demonstrated both the dangers and opportunities posed by the lack of governance in Afghanistan. The victim of a Taliban suicide bomber, his death left a power vacuum that persists today. His successor, Gulab Khan, was murdered last week.
Apr 30, 2015 Newsweek
Sowing the seeds of future success in bringing peace to Afghanistan requires no new U.S. boots on the ground or extravagant financial commitments. Rather, it takes a willingness to continue to engage with Afghanistan's dynamic set of political challenges in small, but meaningful ways.
Mar 24, 2015 CNN
With Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's first official visit to the United States set to begin Sunday, a trio of RAND researchers discuss what to expect after the president and his chief executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah, arrive in Washington.
Mar 20, 2015 The RAND Blog
With the signing of international security agreements this week, there's been a resurgence of hope that a bright future for Afghanistan is possible. But that future will ultimately be determined only by the Afghans.
Oct 3, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
Amid the stunning rout of Iraqi forces in northern Iraq, many have asked whether a similar reversal of American foreign policy goals is possible in Afghanistan. The answer is a qualified yes. Now is the time for the United States to understand Afghanistan's coming struggle, and to help Afghans build a path to stability.
Jun 24, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
It is easy to assume the outcome of the race doesn't really matter for U.S. policy. But an ossifying government excludes and disenfranchises youth with new ideas. Without popular participation, Afghanistan's future becomes more prone to partisan cleavages and extremism.
Apr 7, 2014 The Doctrine
A total drawdown of American forces — the “zero option” — is a real possibility. Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the United States would begin planning for this contingency because of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's failure to sign a bilateral security agreement.
Mar 13, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
Friends have gone home or on to other wars. Reports of crime are on the rise in a city once safe, save for the occasional bombing. Afghans still call their government a “mafia” but have stopped asking me what the United States is going to do to fix it, writes Rebecca Zimmerman.
Oct 15, 2013 NYTimes.com
Like the rest of Afghanistan, these children are so easy to love, but for some so hard. And, like the rest of Afghanistan, they are largely as we have made them, through a combination of kicking and kindness that has bred dependence and resentment, without leaving much of substance, writes Rebecca Zimmerman.
Sep 13, 2012 NYTimes.com