A Discussion on Afghanistan with Ambassador Ryan Crocker
On September 18, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, for a discussion on the state of the U.S. and NATO mission in Afghanistan. Crocker, who recently retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after a distinguished career, examined the state of Afghanistan’s leadership and military as the U.S. prepares to end its mission in 2014.
Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy at Brookings and co-author of Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy (Brookings, 2012), as well as Toughing It Out in Afghanistan (Brookings, 2010) and Brookings’ Afghanistan Index, opened the event with a series of questions for Ambassador Crocker.
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[Who is to blame for Afghanistan's current crises is a] tug of war in some ways. The people who are suffering are ordinary Afghans. [Politically, it’s difficult for the US to release foreign financial assets as long as the Taliban remains in charge.] The US can’t really just say, ‘Okay, you know what, we’re going to unfreeze your central bank funds and essentially insert liquidity in the economy,’ because that really looks like you’re essentially letting the Taliban get away with it.