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  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Success in Afghanistan is the establishment of a political order, security situation, and indigenous security force that is stable, viable, enduring, and able—with greatly reduced international support—to prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists. The current American and Coalition strategy is making progress and should be continued. Since President Obama, NATO allies, and the Afghans have agreed that troops will be present in Afghanistan through 2014, the policy does not require substantial modifications at this point. This paper is thus primarily a report on the current situation in Afghanistan and a consideration of some of the prospects and challenges ahead. Our principal recommendation is that the U.S. and its allies should continue to resource and sustain the strategy now being executed, which is the only approach that can secure their vital national security interests in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The debate about American policy and strategy in Iraq has veered off course. A number of myths have crept into the discussion over the past two years that distort understanding and confuse discussion. It is possible and appropriate to question the wisdom of any particular strategy proposed for Iraq, including the Bush administration's strategy, and there is reason to be both concerned and encouraged by recent events there. But constructive dialogue about how to choose the best way forward is hampered by the distortions caused by certain myths. Until these myths recede from discussions about Iraq strategy, progress in those discussions is extremely unlikely.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Karlyn H. Bowman
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: What do Americans think about the health of the Social Security system and proposals to reform it? This AEI Public Opinion Study looks at how different pollsters have approached the issue. It provides historical data and includes trends on aspects of the debate from major pollsters.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Alarmists who call for American households to save more point to a steady drop in the conventionally measured U.S. saving rate to about 1 per- cent at the end of last year and to a rise in household debt to a level well over 100 percent of personal disposable income. The current account deficit, our external deficit, measures national dis-saving at close to 6 percent of GDP. The federal government's budget deficit contributes about 4 percentage points to national dis-saving and it, too, is the subject of considerable hand-wringing by those who point to a need for higher U.S. saving at both the household and national levels.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Victory in war, and particularly in counterinsurgency wars, requires knowing one's enemy. This simple truth, first stated by Sun Tsu more than two millennia ago, is no less important in the war on terrorism today. It has become almost common wisdom, however, that America today faces an enemy of a new kind, using unprecedented techniques and pursuing incomprehensible goals. But this enemy is not novel. Once the peculiar rhetoric is stripped away, the enemy America faces is a familiar one indeed. The revolutionary vision that undergirds al Qaeda's ideology, the strategy it is pursuing, and the strategic debates occurring within that organization are similar to those of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism at various periods. What's more, the methods that led to the defeat of that ideology can be adapted and successfully used against this religious revival of it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. defense policy today rests heavily on two basic assumptions: that the American armed forces will make perfect decisions and take perfect actions, and that the enemy will never surprise us or offer us unexpected opportunities to exploit. These assumptions can be seen in the elimination of reserve forces from all echelons of the military structure and the heavy burden that the current war has placed on the Army Reserves and National Guard. The result of these decisions has been to leave the United States with little ability to react to unforeseen difficulties, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere. If this policy continues, it will place American national security in grave jeopardy for years to come.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With China's declaration of an anti-secession law, Washington has received a timely if unwelcome reminder of the depth of Beijing's determination to retake Taiwan and the reality of geopolitical rivalry in East Asia. Contrary to the crisis-management mentality that too often has governed U.S. China policy, however, the anti-secession law represents an important strategic blunder by Beijing and an important opportunity for the United States—one that, if properly managed, could actually advance American interests in the region more than anything U.S. policy planners would otherwise hatch on their own. After four years in which the White House was preoccupied with more pressing problems in the greater Middle East, the Bush administration should now take advantage of its second term to align U.S. strategy for the Asia-Pacific region with the fundamental tenets of the Bush Doctrine and develop a new framework for its relations with Beijing and Taipei.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Middle East, Taiwan, Beijing, East Asia, Taipei
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than any of the other armed services, the U.S. Air Force approaches the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review with a sense of foreboding. Touted just a few years ago as the shining exemplar of the revolution in military affairs and the new American way of war, the Air Force is today under increasing scrutiny from Congress and the Pentagon to justify its procurement priorities in the context of the global war on terror. Neither the Air Force's most fervent detractors nor its most devoted acolytes, however, offer an accurate assessment of the role of air power in the post-9/11 strategic environment. The time is ripe for a more realistic, balanced reappraisal of what air power can—and cannot—be expected to accomplish against present and future threats to U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Despite ingrained perceptions of unilateralism, the Bush administration has overseen the most sweeping expansion of American security commitments around the world since the dawn of the Cold War. Even as recriminations over Iraq dominate headlines, the contours of a new alliance system are quietly emerging out of America's partnerships with dozens of countries, from Mali to the Philippines, under attack by al Qaeda and its ideological affiliates. The challenge now is to ensure that this coalition of the willing is also a coalition of the committed—an enduring network of relationships for fighting the war on terror that the Bush administration can bequeath to its successors, be they Democrat or Republican.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Philippines
  • Author: Radek Sikorski
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Europe has been slow to respond to the menace of terrorism, but there are signs that its perception of threats is converging with that of the United States. Paradoxically, America's costly war in Iraq is convincing Europeans that they need a more capable military to give them greater influence over how the West uses force beyond its perimeter.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe