Developing and Sticking With a Clear Strategy in Afghanistan

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President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said that fighting Islamic extremism is one of his administration’s top priorities. Determining the path forward in Afghanistan, where the ongoing battle against al Qaeda and the Taliban was launched 15 years ago, is a challenge Trump’s national security team will face as soon as they take office.

Recent Taliban advances across Afghanistan have destabilized the country’s already fragile state.  Estimates place the amount of Taliban controlled territory throughout the country at the highest levels since 2001. According to figures released by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) last month, 33 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts have fallen under Taliban control, and another 116 districts throughout the country remain contested between the Taliban and Afghan central government based in Kabul.

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