Zalmay Khalilzad Chair on Afghanistan and Resident Senior Fellow James B. Cunningham testifies before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the US strategy in Afghanistan:

Thank you Mr. Chairman, Senator Cardin, Members of the Committee, I am honored to testify today on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. I appreciate this opportunity to address why continued U.S. engagement in Afghanistan is so important, and to place our efforts there in the context of the challenge we face from the extreme, distorted Islamic ideology which threatens our citizens, our values and our way of life.

Rather than submit a statement for the record, I would refer the Committee to the recent Atlantic Council paper on Afghanistan and U.S. Security, of which I was the principal author. Co-signed by 28 former senior U.S. government officials of both parties and prominent policy experts, and with Senators McCain and Reed as honorary co-sponsors, the paper registers bi-partisan agreement that Afghanistan matters to America’s security, has a way forward to success despite all the challenges, merits the continued U.S. engagement required to protect American interests, and should be seen in the context of the broader terrorist threat. Inter alia, we argued to maintain U.S. and coalition military forces and intelligence assets at close-to-current levels and to leave options open for the next American president.

Read the full testimony here.