On the Afghanistan assessment

I haven’t had time to write about the Afghanistan assessment as I have spent a lot of time on the subject discussing it on the radio or with reporters. Honestly, there is little that is new or surprising in the assessment [see Tom’s assessment and discussion on the problem with Pakistan here, with which I concur].

Today I appeared on NPR‘s Radio Times with host Marty Moss-Coane and Michael Walid Hanna of the Century Foundation to discuss the Afghanistan assessment, Pakistan, and al Qaeda and the Taliban (a good portion of the discussion focused on the links between al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as the Pakistan problem). You can listen to the show here.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • ArneFufkin says:

    It’s good that you are getting increased exposure from the cyber media at least. Hopefully your vital perspective will be utilized by MSM and “big print” going forward.

  • Charu says:

    Bill, thank you for grounding the discussion in reality. For Walid Hanna to claim that the Taliban never attacked the US begs the question why we are fighting in Afghanistan in the first place. As you pointed out, the reason is simple; the Taliban gave AQ shelter to carry out 9-11. Extending this logically, I see no reason why Pakistan, which gives shelter to both the Taliban and AQ, ought to be treated as the enemy that it is. Again as you pointed out, it is openly acknowledged to be a state sponsor of terrorism; IMO arguably worse than Iran or Syria in this regard. Except for the fact that it provides us a much needed supply route to Afghanistan – which it squeezes whenever we target their terrorists who attack us – Pakistan is a hostile nation in every way. Granted that this supply route is the elephant in the room, it also has to be acknowledged that this situation is unsustainable.
    Alternatives including an air supply corridor from India, transport from Russia into Tajikistan and then to Afghanistan, and even carving an independent Baluchistan out of Iran and Pakistan ought to be seriously considered to break out of this stalemate. The latter might be the best long-term option available to break out of this stalemate. It will punish the Pakistanis and Iranians, while also keeping them preoccupied them and take their eyes off the dangerous game that they play in Afghanistan.
    Divide and conquer should be the name of the game. Foster a Baluchistan and Pashtunistan in AfPak, and give regional autonomy to the Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks, and the Taliban (and Al Qaeda) will be contained. Give a stake to the ethnic tribes and they will fight it out for themselves. The losers will be Pakistan’s Punjabis; and well deserved at that!


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram