As the Trump administration completes its review of policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, public debate is focused on the war’s military component, including President Trump’s decision to delegate decisions on troop levels to the Pentagon. Yet a few thousand more troops alone will be insufficient to end the war. A security plan, including the anticipated troop increase, must be combined with a political strategy that addresses Afghan domestic and regional factors fueling the war.

Jul 13, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Carl von Clausewitz observed, “There is nothing more common than to find considerations of supply affecting the strategic lines of a campaign and a war.”

Jul 11, 2017
Barnett Rubin

As US mulls strategy over country’s support for terrorist groups in Afghanistan, experts say tougher stance could drive Pakistan toward China and Russia

Jun 27, 2017
Sune Engel Rasmussen, Julian Borger, Barnett Rubin

To understand why the United States is stalemated in Afghanistan, one needs only read the testimony of General John W. Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 9, 2017. General Nicholson discussed the number and disposition of troops that might improve the terms of the current stalemate. This is the one factor General Nicholson can affect. Despite the tremendous sacrifices it will entail from the Afghan forces, it has little bearing on the war’s outcome.

Jun 23, 2017
Barnett Rubin
South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan

India’s decision to boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum has reinvigorated the much-needed debate on the strategic relationship between the two Asian giants. This debate comes on the heels of the February 23, 2017 India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, where the two states found, among their divergences, a convergence on Afghanistan that contradicts some of Delhi’s received wisdom.

May 26, 2017
Barnett Rubin

CNN's Fareed Zakaria in a recent report on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan highlights Barnett Rubin's War on the Rocks article "It's much bigger than Afghanistan: U.S. strategy for a transformed Region".

May 02, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Whether launching a few missiles at a Syrian air base, sailing an aircraft carrier toward North Korea (or not), dropping MOAB, or sending more troops to Afghanistan, tactical demonstrations of U.S. strength not tied to strategic objectives sooner rather than later deteriorate into bloody demonstrations of futility.

Apr 25, 2017
Barnett Rubin

China’s proliferation activities vis-à-vis Pakistan and North Korea have been unmasked on several occasions both before and after Beijing joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992

Mar 27, 2017
WPS Sidhu
China, East Asia, South Asia, Pakistan
Pakistan, South Asia
©Brookings Institution

©Brookings Institution

Considerable policy analysis has been devoted to bilateral strategic relationships between Pakistan and India, India and China, and China and the United States. But the strategic dynamics among these four nuclear powers cannot be understood or effectively addressed on a strictly bilateral basis. While Pakistan responds strategically to India, India responds both to Pakistan and China, which in turn responds both to India and the United States.

Mar 02, 2017
Robert Einhorn, WPS Sidhu

On December 17, 2016 Barnett Rubin made a presentation on the subject of “Security and Development Along the Belt and Road Initiative” at a conference hosted by the Belt and Road Building and Central Asian Studies Institute of Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China.

Dec 17, 2016
Barnett Rubin
China, South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan, Pakistan

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