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Feb 15

Past Event

Campaign 2012: Afghanistan and Pakistan Policy

Event Materials



  • Need for U.S. Base

    Bruce Riedel: The U.S. has to protect its own interests in the region; we really can’t expect Pakistan to deal with al Qaeda or the Taliban for us. In order to do this, we need a nearby base of operations; that base, by default, is Afghanistan.

    Bruce Riedel

  • Unrealistic Expectation

    Michael O’Hanlon: It’s no longer realistic to think that we can defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan before we leave the country in the next year or two.

    Michael E. O'Hanlon

  • Taliban's Predictable Brutality

    Vanda Felbab-Brown: When it was in power, the Taliban was predictably brutal but it provided the Afghan people with something they lack today: safety and security.

    Vanda Felbab-Brown

  • Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan

    Beth Ferris: It is becoming increasingly more difficult to provide the Afghan people with the humanitarian aid that they so desperately need.

    Elizabeth Ferris

Full Event


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The winner of this year’s presidential election will face major policy decisions on a wide range of issues. One of them is how to craft a foreign policy strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries beset by development, governance, and security challenges as well as a tense relationship with each other. The increasing political influence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the continued existence of al-Qaeda sanctuaries in volatile border areas, and Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities pose an international security threat that extends beyond south Asia.

On February 15, the Campaign 2012 project at Brookings held a public discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the second in a series of forums that will identify and address the 12 most critical issues facing the next president. Charles Hoskinson of POLITICO moderated a panel discussion with Brookings Senior Fellows Michael O’Hanlon, Bruce Riedel, Vanda Felbab-Brown, and Elizabeth Ferris.

After the program, panelists took questions from the audience.

Download papers from the event:


February 15, 2012

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105

SERIES: Campaign 2012 Events | No. 2