Fifteen years after the September 11 attacks drew the United States into Afghanistan to defeat al-Qaida and their hosts, the Taliban, cooperation with the Afghan people remains key to the generational conflict against violent extremists in the region. While multiple conflicts rage across the broader Middle East, continuing to build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan is pivotal. The situation in Afghanistan remains difficult, but the country is considerably better off today than it was at the start of this conflict, and the Afghan people are an important ally. In a new paper, former ambassadors, military commanders, special representatives, and Afghanistan scholars outline a way forward for the United States and its Afghan partners, centered on the concept of enduring partnership.
On October 3, the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence hosted an event to examine the effort in Afghanistan and the region based on the recommendations from the paper. Former Special Representative for Afghanistan/Pakistan James Dobbins and former Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann, as well as former Ambassador James Cunningham joined retired General David Petraeus, who led the NATO military effort there from 2010 to 2011, as panelists. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon moderated the event.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Atlantic Council
President, American Academy of Diplomacy
Partner, KKR and Chairman, KKR Global Institute
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[Kim Jong Un] did not engage diplomatically at all in those first seven years [as the leader of North Korea], probably because he didn’t want to hear the Chinese nagging him about advancing these weapons. And also he wasn’t going to start bargaining or negotiating them away. ... Kim has done a pivot where he’s doing a maximum engagement.
Having someone [like Andrew Kim, head of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center] with strong links to South Korean officials suggests there’s probably a high level of coordination going on [in preparation for the Trump-Kim summit], which is a good thing.
[On Trump-Moon relationship] It’s not a bad relationship, but I wouldn’t call it a love fest either.