New AtlanticistSep 1, 2021
How to avoid another state-building failure after Afghanistan
By Frank Ruggiero
Why did the United States continue a state-building policy after al-Qaeda was dismantled? And how can it learn to use force to negotiate the peaceful end to its next conflict?
Frank Ruggiero was a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and has served in senior positions in the US government and corporate America.
From June 2012 to April 2021, Ruggiero was the senior vice president for government relations and board member at BAE Systems, Inc., a UK multinational aerospace company and a significant supplier to the US Department of Defense. He was responsible for all external relations for the company, which has 36,000 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, and India, and generated twelve billion dollars in revenue in 2020.
Ruggiero previously served as the US senior deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from July 2010 to June 2012. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed him to lead initial reconciliation negotiations with the Taliban, and he also managed the day-to-day coordination with US embassies in Kabul and Islamabad. Ruggiero was awarded the US State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award by Clinton.
Ruggiero also served as the US senior civilian representative in Kandahar, Afghanistan from July 2009 to July 2010. He developed and directed civilian programs for the Obama administration’s civilian surge in southern Afghanistan, building the civilian presence from eight to 120 civilians in six provinces, which was a key component of US efforts to stabilize southern Afghanistan.
Before his position as US senior civilian representative, Ruggiero was appointed acting assistant secretary of state from January 2009 to July 2009 and received multiple Department of State Superior Honor Awards. And from January 2007 to July 2009, Ruggiero served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, where he directly managed the Offices of Defense Trade Controls and Regional Security and Arms Transfers, which regulate all US defense exports. Frank led US defense trade treaty negotiations with the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as US efforts on security policy in the Middle East and South Asia, including the creation of the US-Gulf Security Dialogue—the primary regional forum to discuss security issues with US allies in the Persian Gulf.
Ruggiero has an MA in Middle Eastern affairs from American University’s School of International Service and a BA in political science from the Ohio State University. He has completed all requirements for a PhD (minus the dissertation) from the University of Virginia in US foreign policy with China.