As NATO’s 28 defense ministers meet this week in Brussels, America’s top priority should be to encourage our allies to refocus on Afghanistan and ensure future stability in Central Asia.
Six months ago, Pakistan closed critical supply routes into Afghanistan. This move did not breed goodwill among NATO members who, as a result, have been paying more for alternative routes into Afghanistan.
Despite an invitation to the recent NATO summit, Pakistan has yet to reopen the supply routes. This indicates to the international community that Pakistan has little or no intention of aiding in the counterterrorism effort.
Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun. But this withdrawal must be done strategically to avoid a revival of al-Qaeda.
Instead of accelerating their withdrawal, American forces should withdraw in a way that allows the Afghan government to take over leadership in the country, Heritage Foundation expert Lisa Curtis argues. Curtis also advocates rebuilding the relationship between the U.S. and Afghanistan:
The U.S. needs to take into account the views of Afghan civil society and coordinate its peace moves more closely with the Karzai administration. The public disagreement between U.S. and Afghan officials over the opening of a Taliban office in Doha, Qatar, revealed weakness in the strategy and gave the impression that talking with the Taliban was leading to splits between Washington and Kabul.
Moving forward, the U.S. should be more transparent about its negotiations with the Taliban and reassure Afghans that it will not sacrifice the progress on human rights, including for women. Continue Reading »
President Obama should take advantage of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Washington next month to recommit to America’s “Special Relationship” with the United Kingdom, Heritage Foundation scholar Luke Coffey says.
“This visit will be an important opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the U.S. – U.K. defense relationship in light of recent defense cuts on both sides of the Atlantic,” explains Coffey, Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Fellow.
Maintaining this relationship is in both countries’ interest:
It is in America’s interest to have a strong British military partner. On the military level, the desire to increase cooperation is there. President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron need to help facilitate this cooperation. Like all relationships, the U.S.–U.K. defense relationship needs nurturing and direction. Both leaders should use this visit as an opportunity to expand military cooperation.
What do you think should be the most important topic of the agenda for President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron’s visit?
In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Obama declared the Taliban’s momentum broken and said some troops have already begun to come home.
Unfortunately for the President, his statement is wildly inaccurate and misleading. And we aren’t the only ones to note the discrepancy, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Warshaw:
The President’s inaccurate statement was duly noted by the Associated Press’s SOTU fact check, which highlighted findings of the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan. The classified NIE, representing the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, reportedly declares the war a “stalemate” for the time being but also warns that as the U.S. precipitously withdraws, the Taliban will grow stronger, bolder, and more threatening. Continue Reading »
Last week at the Pentagon, President Obama made the claim that the world is a safer place thanks to his efforts with the war on terror. In his speech, he declared victory over our enemies and paved the way for draconian cuts to the U.S. military.
In short, we’ve succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans in harm’s way, and we’ve restored America’s global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And that’s an achievement that every American — especially those Americans who are proud to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces — should take great pride in.
This success has brought our nation, once more, to a moment of transition. Even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding. Even as our forces prevail in today’s missions, we have the opportunity — and the responsibility — to look ahead to the force that we are going to need in the future.
Providing for “the force that we are going to need in the future,” however, does not mean cutting half a trillion dollar in defense funding, as the President proposes.
Writing in the New York Post, Heritage Foundation national security expert James Carafano explains why the United States is not in any kind of position to slash military funding, especially with things so volatile in the Middle East. Continue Reading »
Is America retreating from Afghanistan?
That’s what The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Darling wonders in his weekly column for Human Events:
Last week we learned that President Obama was releasing high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantanamo Bay and will cut tens of thousands of ground troops from the Pentagon budget. The Obama Doctrine—retreating from the battlefield and gutting defense—is expected to be on full display in 2012.
Also on Darling’s radar: the President’s unconstitutional “recess” appointments; another debt limit increase; and the next round of political gamesmanship over the payroll tax rates.
Read the whole column on Human Events and be sure to leave your comments.
At 9:50 a.m. Eastern on Fox Business Channel’s “Varney and Company,” Heritage’s Nile Gardiner will discuss the continued economic and political turmoil in Greece and its impact on Europe.
Update: At 2:40 p.m. on Fox News’ “America Live,” national security expert Peter Brookes will discuss the Taliban attack in Kabul.
And in the 6:00 p.m. hour tonight on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Brookes will again discuss the attack in Kabul, while his colleague James Carafano will discuss the President’s comments on the mission in Libya.
“The world is a considerably better place without the Taliban and al Qaeda largely out of Afghanistan,” former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld told a Heritage audience in Southern California on Friday. “The world is a better place with Saddam Hussein out.”
In remarks touching on the war on terror, military policy and his own career, Rumsfeld explained the rationale for the Bush administration’s policies overseas and at home.
Watch a video of his remarks:
This morning on CBS’ “The Early Show,” Heritage national security expert Peter Brookes discussed the cyber threat to national security.
Update: At 11:20 a.m. Eastern on CNBC’s “The Call,” Heritage economist JD Foster will discuss companies pushing for a tax break on foreign cash and why this would not increase domestic investment.
Then at 5:00 p.m. on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” security expert James Carafano will discuss the reported U.S. negotiations with the Taliban.
Update: Central Asia expert Lisa Curtis will discuss U.S. negotiations with the Taliban at 2:45 p.m. on CNN.
At 4:15 p.m. on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” tax expert Curtis Dubay will discuss states trying to impose an internet sales tax.
Then in the 6:00 p.m. hour on Fox News’ “Special Report,” legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky will discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on EPA emissions regulations.
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