FDD Hosts Panel on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan

March 9, 2011
9:00 am -

Event Description

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosted a panel conversation on Wednesday, March 9, titled U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Way Forward. The conversation featured Bill Roggio, editor of FDD’s The Long War Journal (LWJ) and Gilles Dorronsoro, an expert on Afghanistan, Turkey, and South Asia. FDD’s Founder and President, Cliff May, moderated the discussion.

General David Petraeus warned in early February that 2011 would be a bloody year in Afghanistan. With U.S. troops pounding insurgents in Helmand and Kandahar, but the Taliban making increasing inroads around Kabul and the Karzai government facing a deepening crisis of legitimacy, how will Washington address the changing threats in the region?

In the past month alone, the CIA has conducted 7 drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, compared to 35 in all of 2008. But the Obama administration remains committed to military withdrawal from Afghanistan beginning in July. Meanwhile, the United States, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries continue to pour billions of dollars into Afghanistan, raising concerns over who will retain leverage there after U.S. troops leave.

Is the increasing number of drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas — the home of al-Qaeda’s leadership and a main base for the Afghan Taliban — advancing U.S. interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Does the U.S. have better options for striking the enemies committed to its destruction? And what can the U.S. do to address the deeper political causes of the Taliban’s resurgence, al-Qaeda safe havens in Pakistan, and the Pakistani government’s refusal to police its territory?

Bill Roggio is the editor of FDD’s The Long War Journal (LWJ), a leading source for breaking news and original reporting and analysis of the global war on terror. Drawn from embedded reporters, maps, podcasts and other multimedia formats, LWJ has become internationally recognized for its coverage and Roggio serves as a key source for the military, the  intelligence community and the media. LWJ’s coverage includes strategic and operational issues relating to the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, and more extensively in Iraq, as well as al-Qaeda’s operations, tactics, and strategy. The Long War Journal has been hailed as “the best-in-class on situation awareness, especially of the Af-Pak theater.” Roggio has embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gilles Dorronsoro is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an expert on Afghanistan, Turkey, and South Asia. His research focuses on security and political development in Afghanistan, particularly the role of the International Security Assistance Force, the necessary steps for a viable government in Kabul, and the conditions necessary for withdrawal scenarios. Previously, Dorronsoro was a professor of political science at the Sorbonne, Paris and the Institute of Political Studies of Rennes. He also served as the scientific coordinator at the French Institute of Anatolian Studies in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the co-founder and editor of South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal and the European Journal of Turkish Studies.

Cliff May has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), His writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, USA Today, The Atlantic and many other publications. He is the co-editor of a book on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as one on energy policy.


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