5 Ways to Win the War in Afghanistan

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver an assessment of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and an update on his own year-old strategy for winning the war, the strategic outlook in the country remains bleak. Although the United States and its allies have scored important tactical gains over the past 12 months — decimating insurgent ...

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver an assessment of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and an update on his own year-old strategy for winning the war, the strategic outlook in the country remains bleak. Although the United States and its allies have scored important tactical gains over the past 12 months -- decimating insurgent networks and securing once-violent districts in southern Afghanistan -- they have no clear plan to either defeat insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan or address the corruption and predatory behavior of Afghanistan's political class, which threatens to undermine U.S. and allied military successes. 

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver an assessment of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and an update on his own year-old strategy for winning the war, the strategic outlook in the country remains bleak. Although the United States and its allies have scored important tactical gains over the past 12 months — decimating insurgent networks and securing once-violent districts in southern Afghanistan — they have no clear plan to either defeat insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan or address the corruption and predatory behavior of Afghanistan’s political class, which threatens to undermine U.S. and allied military successes. 

 

Andrew Exum led a light infantry platoon in Afghanistan in 2002 and returned leading a platoon of Army Rangers in 2004. He served as an advisor to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's Initial Assessment Team in 2009 and is a fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
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