by Ronald Neumann
CIPS Working Paper, June 2009

  • The situation in Afghanistan is grave but far from hopeless.
  • Although stabilization is a long term task, short term action is needed to reverse perceptions of Taliban progress, which are weakening international resolve and Afghan public support for the mission.
  • Some elements of the existing international strategy towards Afghanistan require review; nevertheless, the critical need now is not to debate new strategies but to implement the existing strategy more effectively.
  • Such an emphasis on improved implementation would include clarifying lines of decision-making and authority, among other things.

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Ronald E. Neumann was formerly a deputy assistant secretary in the US Department of State and served as ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. He is the president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and an adjunct professor in the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

This publication is part of the project on Afghanistan: Can a Sustainable Outcome Be Achieved?