• Is Peace Possible in Afghanistan?

    Amid ongoing, deadly attacks in the Afghan capital and elsewhere, the Taliban has reached out to the United States to begin peace talks aimed at ending more than seventeen years of conflict between US-led forces and the once-ruling extremist group.

    At least, that’s what the group’s open letter in February reads. In it, the Taliban states it is imploring the American people and members of Congress to convince the Trump administration of the necessity for the talks.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on February 28 extended his own olive branch by offering to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political group as part of a proposed peace process. He said he was making the offer “without preconditions.”

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  • Trump Gets Tough on Pakistan

    This article is part of a series that reflects on the first year of the Trump administration.

    US President Donald J. Trump started off 2018 with a tweet blasting Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. Days later, the Trump administration cut off what is expected to be $1.3 billion in annual security aid to Pakistan. It is betting that this strategy will lead Pakistan to get tough with all terrorists on its soil. Will it?

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  • Gopalaswamy Joins The Wire to Discuss What Trump’s Tweet on Pakistan Means For India

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  • Trump is Upset with Pakistan. Here’s What You Need to Know.

    The Trump administration has cut off what is expected to be as much as $1.3 billion in annual security aid to Pakistan in an effort to compel this South Asian nation to end its support for terrorists. Is this a winning strategy? Unlikely.

    The United States has a longstanding relationship with Pakistan. However, in recent years it has become strained by Pakistan’s continued support for terrorist organizations which directly harm US interests. Though it is a complex issue with a long history, US President Donald J. Trump has decided to get tough with Pakistan.

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  • Ahmad in The Hill: Mistrust is the Original Sin of US-Pakistan Relations

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  • Gopalaswamy in Deccan Chronicle: Hindi-Chini bhai bhai, the perfect foil to Pak terror

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  • Trump's Speech Undermines Trump's New Strategy

    In Afghanistan, our troops are no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies of our plans.
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  • Addressing the Terrorist Threat Emanating from Pakistan

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was right when he recently told an audience at the Atlantic Council that Pakistan’s leadership must eliminate terrorist safe havens, warning that a failure to do so could cause them to “lose control of their own country.”

    Tillerson said that the US-Pakistan relationship has “really deteriorated” over the past decade and that “now we’re engaged with Pakistan in a conversation to ensure our expectations of them are clear, that our concern is really about Pakistan’s stability.”

    “Pakistan has allowed so many terrorist organizations to find safe haven within its territories, and these organizations are growing in size and influence, that at some point, I have said to the leadership of Pakistan, you may be the target, and they turn their attention from Kabul and decide they like Islamabad as a target better,” the secretary of state said at the Atlantic Council on December 12.

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  • Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy Turns Up the Heat on Pakistan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan effectively puts the onus on Pakistan to end its support for terrorists.

    If this strategy is to succeed, the United States must “adopt a very serious policy toward Pakistan,” said C. Christine Fair, the provost’s distinguished associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

    In an August 21 speech, Trump said Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.”

    “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting... that will have to change,” Trump added.

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  • Trump Misses an Opportunity in Afghanistan

    US President Donald J. Trump should have stuck to his original line of questioning of his national security team before sharing his new “strategy” on Afghanistan and South Asia: what outcome are we seeking, and how will we get there?

    Trump’s August 21 speech, in which he outlined his policy on Afghanistan, exemplified the truth of Lewis Carroll’s quotation from Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

    Long on assertions, but short on specifics, Trump’s speech failed to lay out a clear roadmap to “victory” that is based on history and regional ground realities. Indeed, Trump did not identify any benchmarks for actions to be taken by Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, or even the United States.

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