US Strategy in Afghanistan Requires Diplomacy and Military Power

After many promises about military prowess and secret plans, the Trump administration is desperate for victory in Afghanistan. US presidents have struggled to understand that, for the Taliban, a fundamentalist political and military group, victory is the ability to outwait a foreign invader, explains Ehsan M. Ahrari, author and military strategist who teaches at the US Army War College. The Trump administration has adjusted strategy for the war in its 17th year by targeting illicit activities that finance the Taliban and embedding US military advisors with Afghan troops closest to combat. Cooperation with other nations is essential to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table: China needs a stable Afghanistan for the success of its Belt and Road Initiative Central Asia, and Pakistan expects the United States to take its apprehensions about any Indian involvement in Afghanistan into consideration. While the Taliban outwaits the foreign troops, China and Pakistan have reason to worry about a fast US exit with minimal political commitment, leaving Afghanistan destabilized. – YaleGlobal