Nearly five months into the Obama administration, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain on the top of the President’s foreign policy agenda. Pledging to send 21,000 additional troops in advance of the Afghan election this summer, the Obama administration is seeking to reinforce security and bolster the NATO-led forces that are struggling to counter escalating insurgent attacks. The fighting in Swat Valley continues, as U.S. Envoy Richard Holbrooke prepares to visit Pakistan this week.
On June 8, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion of these two war-torn regions and offered status reports on both conflicts. Jeremy Shapiro, director of research for the Center on the United States and Europe, and Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings fellow, discussed their recent research trip to Afghanistan. Bruce Riedel, senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, offered his assessment of the ongoing offensive in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Brookings senior fellow Michael O’Hanlon offered introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, the panelists took audience questions.