Editor’s Note: Making other countries more effective U.S. security partners is a vital part of counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and U.S. foreign policy in general. Yet it seems to fail often, and support for such aid appears to be declining. Part of the problem may be in how the United States does such assistance. Stephen Tankel of American University and Melissa Dalton of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argue that the United States should reverse its traditional approach.
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After much soul-searching, President Donald Trump intends to order the deployment of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Although he avoided giving a specific number of troops in his speech to the nation Monday night, the president laid out the case for renewing the U.S. involvement in that country, citing the legacy of 9/11, the dangers of premature withdrawal and the range of security threats in the region.
So much of U.S. policy in South and West Asia has been determined by Washington’s relationship with two countries: Iran and Pakistan. But the relationship between these two regional powers has been in many ways as influential as their swings from allies to frenemies to adversaries with the United States. The ties between Iran and Pakistan run deep, and they have shifted over time from a deep affinity to regional rivalry and proxy conflict. Underneath it all has been the two countries’ pragmatic self-interest.
Editor’s Note: Non-proliferation has been an imperfect but real policy success in the modern era. However, the emergence of the North Korean program and continued problems with other nuclear weapons states raise the risk of additional proliferation, including to non-state actors. Robert Litwak of the Wilson Center breaks down how we should think about non-proliferation, explaining the different categories of states and policy responses and arguing that an Iran-like deal is a powerful approach that deserves emulation in several other cases.
Editor's Note: Bangladesh, one of the world's largest Muslim countries, is usually considered a success story: slowly but steadily, this secular democracy is climbing out of poverty. This perceived success, however, ignores the country's many problems. Christine Fair, Ali Hamza, and Rebecca Heller—all of Georgetown—paint a far darker picture. They note high degrees of support for militancy and growing violence, arguing that ignoring Bangladesh's problems could prove disastrous.
Earlier this week, a suicide bomber outside a crowded hospital in Quetta, Pakistan killed at least 74 people, most of them judges or lawyers, and wounded dozens more. Yesterday, another blast in Quetta wounded an additional 13 people. The provincial interior minister told Reuters that the bombing targeted police escorting a judge, who was not killed in the attack.
The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels.
Editor's Note: There is a popular misconception that the serious study of Islam is a step on the road toward radicalization and terrorism. Christine Fair, Jacob Goldstein, and Ali Hamza (all of whom I'm proud to say share my Georgetown University universe) come up with a heartening finding for those of us who believe knowledge is good: that those who know more about Islam are more resistant to extremist appeals.
Since 9/11, the United States has furnished Pakistan with some $33 billion dollars in economics assistance, foreign military sales, and lucrative “reimbursements” under the coalition support funds (CSF) program. The United States has also provided Pakistan with access to U.S.
C. Christine Fair comes on the show to talk about Islamism in Bangladesh. Some of the topics covered include:History of Islamism in Bangladesh and its intersection with mainstream politics The role of Bangladeshi Islamists with Rohingya refugees History of al-Qaeda’s involvement in Bangladesh and its newest enterprise through Ansar al-Islam What we know about recent Islamic State attacks in Bangladesh