Seth G. Jones

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Seth G. Jones holds the Harold Brown Chair and is director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He was a senior advisor for U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan and is the author of “In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan” (W.W. Norton).

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Soviet Experience in Afghanistan: Getting History Right

Editor’s Note: President Trump's justification of his foreign policy often draws on bizarre theories and bad history. One of the worst recent instances was his claim that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan because of terrorism. This is wrong, but it raises the question of why Moscow did invade. Seth Jones of CSIS dissects Trump's claim and, drawing on Soviet archives, lays out the rationale behind Moscow's decisions.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Islamic State-Taliban Rivalry in Afghanistan

Editor’s Note: Radical Islam is not a monolith. The Lebanese Hizballah fights the Islamic State in Syria, Hamas has crushed al-Qaeda sympathizers in Gaza, andmost importantly from a U.S. perspective—al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are bitter rivals. This tension shows up in Afghanistan, one of the most important U.S. theaters of war. Seth Jones of the RAND Corporation details how a surprising source contains the Islamic State therethe Taliban.

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Foreign Policy Essay: Iraq’s Lessons for Afghanistan

Editor’s Note: The chaos in Iraq has intensified since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of 2011, leading many to question the wisdom of that decision. Although the clock cannot be rolled back—and some see the strife as proof that the United States is best off getting out of the region altogether—the latest crisis in Iraq has raised questions about how to handle the end of the other major U.S. intervention since 9/11: Afghanistan. Seth G.