American Strategy in Afghanistan: Dilemmas, Miscalculations and Outcomes

Priyanka Singh is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • May 2014
    Review Essay

    The war on terror, often described as ‘the longest war’ or ‘the wrong war’, is approaching its pinnacle. In this context, 2014 has been the centre of gravity while formulating strategies, framing policies and executing actions to ensure an honourable exit for the international forces led by the United States from Afghanistan. As the US prepares for the eventual withdrawal, there is a wider debate on the pre-withdrawal formalities ranging from handing over control to Afghan security forces, to post-withdrawal scenarios determining the extent of US military presence in Afghanistan and exploring options for its post-2014 role in the country. Although the US is credited with successfully eliminating the Al Qaeda chief, Osama Bin Laden, and top leaders of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani network, it is far from uprooting its principal enemy, Al Qaeda, which continues to be the cementing force among fundamentalists and extremist ideologies across the globe.