A Sustainable Security Strategy for Afghanistan

By Nicholas Morrow

Nicholas R. Morrow previously served as an appointee of President Obama at the Department of Defense in the office of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia policy from 2015 to 2017.

The Afghanistan and Pakistan region is home to 20 UN and U.S. designated terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS), and the Haqqani network. This is a higher concentration than any other region of the world, and it is why preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven from which these groups can plan attacks needs to be a priority for U.S. President Donald Trump.

Based on how little we’ve heard of President Trump’s policies on Afghanistan, he may doubt that security there is worth the investment.  However, former U.S. President Barack Obama was able to keep Americans safe from terrorism, while building the size and capabilities of the Afghan forces and leaving behind a sustainable strategy for a stable Afghanistan. Today, there are approximately 8,400 U.S. forces serving in non-combat roles, as well as 6,000 NATO forces in Afghanistan, compared to 2011, when over 140,000 coalition troops were engaged in combat against the Taliban. 

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