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  • Author: John Price
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the United States drove Islamist insurgents from Afghanistan, many migrated to Yemen, eventually reaching the Horn of Africa, which became the “epicenter” for al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was indoctrinated by Wahhabist imams in Saudi Arabia, a sect that espouses armed jihad. In 1987, bin Laden formed al-Qaeda (the base) in Afghanistan, with his mujahedeen fighters. In 1991, he moved to Sudan with his al-Qaeda lieutenants and spent the next five years plotting attacks against Western interests.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Sudan, Yemen, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Mali
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore
  • Author: Marc Grossman
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After a decade of effort and tremendous sacrifice by Americans, Afghans, allies and partners, we have made progress toward the goal of disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaeda is weaker. As a result of this effort and sacrifice, we can now enter a new phase of our en¬gagement in Afghanistan defined by the plan set out at the NATO Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The Afghan government is systematically taking responsibility for Afghanistan's security; half of the Afghan population today lives in areas where the Afghan government has the lead responsibility for security. By the end of 2014, all of Afghanistan will have transitioned to Afghan security lead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Lisbon
  • Author: James Franklin Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The 2011 transition from a US military-centric American presence in Iraq to a diplomatic lead, requiring the build out of already the largest US embassy since Vietnam, was an extraordinary political and logistic al effort, all but unparalleled in State Department history. The transition's success and its many challenges provide lessons for both the upcoming Afghanistan transition and 'expeditionary diplomacy' generally. It provides a model for diploma tic primacy in a conflict environment, but also cautionary lessons on the limits of diplomatic engagement in a war zone.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Daniel Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: If ideologies that inspire violence are not overcome by force of persuasion, they will only be overcome by force of arms. Al-Qaeda's ideas continue to take root in new and diverse soil. Where they do, violence, destabilization, and devastation are the predictable results. During the last eleven years, America and her allies have waged war on al-Qaeda the organization. War has not been waged on al-Qaeda the idea. The result has crippled al -Qaeda's tactical cap abilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but has allowed for its transnational presence to flourish. To engage al-Qaeda the idea, the foremost warriors needed are state and public diplomats whose weapons are far more subtle than bombs and bullets.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Africa's multicultural tradition and its influence on the Arab Spring are challenging and singularly complex subjects, certain to frustrate those who seek neat, linear, cause-and-effect relationships. In many respects, Africa's multicultural tradition, when juxtaposed against the complex and largely externally imposed circumstances of Africa's turbulent history, and the realpolitik of today, is but a small—albeit critical—component in the dynamic, driving the people and institutions of modern Africa, and its regional neighbors, towards change. Washington's US policy establishment, for instance, contains more fractious 'tribes' than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, each with its own political agenda and pandering media-congressional constituency. How, one wonders, can objective truth divining the complexly-nuanced affairs of ancient nations half a world away possibly emerge from such a riot of contending institutional interests and agendas?
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Robert O. Blake, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year marks the 20th anniversary of independence for the five republics of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on America's growing stake in Central Asia. Since 1991, our desire for a stable, independent, and prosperous Central Asia has guided US policy priorities in the region, with each of the five nations working towards building strong, market-oriented democracies. In recent years, the United States has sought to increase engagement with this region on a broad range of issues, particularly as we work to bring stability, security, and prosperity to Afghanistan, which borders three of the Central Asian republics. Located at the critical geostrategic crossroads of Eurasia, the region is rich not only in natural resources, economic opportunity, and human capacity, but also in its diversity of people, culture, and ideas. Just as the region was at the center of the Silk Road of centuries past, Central Asia has the potential once again to serve as a hub of trade, transport, and ideas in Eurasia, linking the people and markets of East and West, and North and South. We look forward to working with the Central Asian republics, their neighbors, and international partners to create a new Silk Road that integrates this strategically vital region and offers new opportunities for its people.
  • Topic: Culture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: David M. Abshire
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On June 22, 2011, President Obama outlined his plans for the withdrawal of 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012 with the removal of all combat troops by 2014. The announcement has reenergized an ongoing debate sparked by the recent death of Osama bin Laden over the United States’ role in Afghanistan. Pundits and politicians from both the political Right and Left are calling for a speedier withdrawal and reduction in aid in the wake of bin Laden’s death.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: David M. Abshire
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: General Stanley McChrystal has said that without additional forces America will experience “Mission Failure” in Afghanistan. There is a growing fear within both the American political right and left that General McChrystal's request for additional troop increases in Afghanistan will start us on the road to another Vietnam. Shockingly, no one, not even the President, has yet to call for some form of comparable commitments from our allies. Ironically, it was the European members of the Alliance which took the initiative to invoke Article 5 after the 9/11 attacks, signaling that the attack was an attack against them all. Thus, Europeans were willing to make Afghanistan NATO's war. During the initial phase of the “War on Terror,” the United States mistakenly believed it did not need allies and made little effort to involve NATO in its operations until overextension in Iraq forced the United States to seek allies when it set up the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Terrorist attacks on European cities have also made it clear that Europe has just as much at stake in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Vietnam
  • Author: Michael P. Cohn
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Located on an ancient highway of trade and conquest, at the crossroads of civilizations, Afghanistan, rugged and remote, has withstood many invasions and undergone numerous internal changes over the centuries. Today it sits at the crossroads of history. Physically, politically and culturally, it remains a perplexing mix of modernity and the past.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan