The slogans and pageantry following the rollout of the Trump Doctrine has left U.S. partners and allies in South Asia with much to be anxious about. What does an “America First” foreign policy look like for them? How will this change the currents of a 15-year state building project in Afghanistan? What does a war on “radical Islamic terrorism” really mean? While allies are in an anxious wait and see mode as the new administration generates its foreign policy, we wondered what Afghan professionals thought of the challenges ahead. To that end, we conducted phone and email interviews with a dozen current and former officials residing in Afghanistan and working at various levels of military, intelligence, and political affairs in the Afghan government. Not surprisingly, they paint a gloomy picture of security conditions in the country. They also express hope and optimism the United States will remain an “all weather” partner. At the same time, they are offended by the rhetoric and rumored policy changes coming out of the Trump administration. Like a bull in a china shop, Trump is shattering years of patient diplomacy and costly security assistance as Afghanistan enters yet another year of uncertain outcomes.
Read the rest at War on the Rocks
“Should to Shoulder No More in Afghanistan?” with Ahmad Waheed, War on the Rocks, 1 March 2017.