Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency, and Contradictions: America's Lessons Learned in Afghanistan

For well over one decade after 9/11, America pursued three very different and difficult campaigns in Afghanistan. The CIA waged a war in the shadows to dismantle Al Qaeda, the U.S. military battled a resilient Taliban insurgency, and the State Department led efforts to help the Afghan people establish a legitimate government and repair their war-torn country. The missions unavoidably led to contradictions as different values were placed on counterinsurgency warfare, sustainable development, the promotion of rule of law, and clandestine operations against a deadly terrorist organization. Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009-2011 and twice a military commander of coalition forces in that country, will discuss the lessons we might draw for future large scale interventions into countries suffering from wars of internal disorder.

Festival: 2015

More on this Session

Watch and Listen: Middle East

Most of us probably harbor preconceived notions about refugees. Maybe it’s a misunderstanding about what drove them... See more
This talk rethinks refugees as a potential economic benefit to the societies that host them, rather than simply passive... See more
John Dickerson and former CIA director, retired Army General David Petraeus, take a tour of the unprecedented threats... See more
Tens of thousands of men and women have left comfortable, privileged lives to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—... See more
Ambassador Wendy Sherman, lead negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, shares takeaways from her experiences working the... See more
What do today's Republicans believe America's role in the world should be? The GOP's presumptive nominee... See more

Pages