The future of US policy in Afghanistan
America’s longest war: The state of affairs in Afghanistan
Remembering Stephen P. Cohen (1936-2019): His contribution to U.S.-India relations and South Asian studies
The Pakistani state’s response to the TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] was limited to a kinetic one, in the form of the Zarb-e-Azb military operation... Given that [Pakistan didn't counter extremism in the population], it was only a matter of time before the group resurfaced — its pool of recruits to draw from remains intact.
The firmest ground to stand on to argue for a delayed withdrawal [from Afghanistan] is the fact that the Taliban hasn’t met its commitments to cut ties with al-Qaeda as per that [February 2020] deal.
[Biden] is in a bind. If we leave on May 1, violence between the Taliban and Kabul will certainly increase, and Afghanistan will devolve into some state of protracted violence. If we stay, the Taliban will start attacking American troops again and Biden will be saddled with the blame of just having lengthened America’s longest war.
The drone program was effective in taking out some leaders of the Pakistan Taliban. It took out Baitullah Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud and took out Fazlullah, and many Al-Qaeda fighters who had moved over to Pakistan from Afghanistan after 2001... It did, however, have an effect on perceptions... The relationship [between President Trump and Prime Minister Khan] started off on such a terrible footing that maybe the only way to go was up from the low of 2018. Imran Khan and Trump really hit it off [during a meeting in Washington, DC]. Both celebrities-turned-politicians, both populists who are very privileged, personally... I would be curious to see what lens the Biden administration takes towards Pakistan. Is it going to be an Af[ghanistan]-Pak[istan] lens? Is it going to be a Pak[istan]-India lens? Is it going to be a Pakistan on its own lens?
[On the death of Khadim Hussain Rizvi] A leader’s death, however, instrumental or charismatic he may have been, is not enough to do away with an extremist organization. TLP’s ideology has strong roots in Pakistan, and many buyers
For all Trump’s foreign policy misadventures, his approach to Pakistan, transactional as it was, seems to have worked reasonably well for both sides... Pakistan helped the US in the Afghan peace process; Trump remained scrupulously positive in his public statements on Afghanistan, which was helpful as Pakistan sought to revamp its image... The top line is that we shouldn’t expect much to change [during a Biden Administration].