Sixteen years into the war in Afghanistan, the Trump administration is preparing to finally win or go home trying.
- By Sharon WeinbergerSharon Weinberger is the executive editor for news at Foreign Policy. Previously, she was the national security editor at The Intercept, where she directed the publication's defense and intelligence coverage. Her most recent book, published in March 2017, is The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World (Knopf, 2017). She was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard in 2015-2016, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2008-2009, and she is currently a non-resident global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also been an International Reporting Project Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a Carnegie Fellow at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, a Nation Institute Investigative Fellow, and a Carnegie Newhouse Legal Reporting Fellow. She received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and holds an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Nature, Discover, BBC.com, Slate, Wired, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Financial Times, among other publications. She was previously a senior editor at Aviation Week and a co-founding writer and editor for Wired's national security blog, Danger Room.
The Pentagon is set to send an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the State Department is ready to shutter the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP). What is the strategy? What could it accomplish? And what would Brad Pitt think of all this?
On this week’s first episode of The E.R., Sharon Weinberger, Vikram Singh, Whitney Kassel, and Paul D. Miller discuss the delicate balance of time and resources in Afghanistan and offer some suggestions on what it would take to be successful in America’s longest war. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has promised to unveil a new plan next month. But what has the United States not yet tried already?
Vikram Singh is the vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP). Prior to joining CAP in 2014, Singh served at the State Department as the deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and at the Pentagon as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia. Follow him on Twitter: @VJS_Policy.
Whitney Kassel is a FP columnist and foreign policy analyst. She previously spent four years with the secretary of defense, where she focused on special operations, counterterrorism, and Pakistan. Follow her on Twitter: @whitneykassel.
Paul D. Miller is the associate director of the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin. He previously served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Follow him on Twitter: @PaulDMiller2.
Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.
Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.