Afghanistan: Which way forward?

  • November 8, 2009 · 4:00 PM
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During our October meeting on Iran the discussion frequently turned to Afghanistan, and the group decided to make it our topic for November. As of this writing the Obama administration is attempting to crystalize its Afghanistan strategy. Some questions we may want consider are as follows:

* The Taliban were defeated and driven out of Afghanistan. Now they're back. What happened?

* How critical is Afghanistan to U.S. national security?

* Can Afghanistan stabilize, or is it likely to remain in turmoil for the forseeable future?

* What is the impact of Afghanistan on its neighbors, in particular Pakistan and Iran?

* Should U.S. troop levels be raised--as the generals advocate--or, as suggested by VP Biden, should we rely on robotic methods (drones, etc.)?

* What is the status of women in Afghanistan?

* Are problems such as illiteracy and economic development being addressed?

I have assembled links to information about Afghanistan here.

If you know of other resources on Afghanistan please post them on this site.

As always...

All views and political orientations are welcome.

We welcome beginners and policy wonks alike. Feel free to join the discussion or just to listen and learn. Attendance is limited to 14 max as we are meeting in an eatery where it is not possible to reserve space. If you sign up and change your mind, please change your reply so that someone else may attend.

Meetup to last 1.5 hours (until 5:30 PM) although, of course, people are welcome to continue beyond that point.

Looking forward to another stimulating discussion!


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  • John Van P.

    Afghanistan is a complex topic. We covered a lot of ground, with excellent contributions from members old and new. The sense of the group was that the U.S. must stay the course, but that the road is likely to be difficult and long. I have the feeling we will be revisiting this topic and/or area of the world in the future.

    November 8, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    Everybody was pretty much in agreement: support General McChrystal's call for 40000'ish more troops and a counter insurgency strategy.

    November 8, 2009

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