Speaker Events - Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Terrorism Expert Riedel Delivers Sober Analysis of Pakistan, Afghanistan
According to terrorism expert Bruce Riedel, the situation in Pakistan is “dire and deteriorating,” and NATO could lose the war in Afghanistan due to a lack of resources and attention, but that could be avoided.
Mr. Riedel delivered this analysis at an IPI event last week, where he also said that Al Qaeda’s core leadership is still alive and remains a deadly threat. Mr. Riedel, a former adviser to four US Presidents and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is the author of, The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future, published in 2008 by the Brookings Institution.
Mr. Riedel was tasked this spring by President Obama with a review of the administration’s policies regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is credited with drafting a strategy that advocates a more focused counterinsurgency approach to the conflict in Afghanistan and boosts development assistance to Pakistan.
Among the key points raised by Mr. Riedel at this event were the following:
- Over the past seven and a half years, the core Al Qaeda leadership has moved from Kandahar, Afghanistan to a location unknown, and remains a deadly threat. Al Qaeda is believed to be somewhere in Pakistan. Also, Al Qaeda’s relationships with other jihad extremists in South Asia, like Lashkar-e-Toiba, are growing stronger.
- The situation in Pakistan is "dire and deteriorating," in part because Pakistan is trying to move from a military dictatorship toward democracy, and its leaders are fighting internal battles while being confronted with pressing external ones. This is a difficult transition in any country, but especially for Pakistan, which is attempting this transition for the fourth time in 60 years.
- The US relationship with the Pakistanis is tarnished by Pakistan’s perception of the US as an unreliable ally and an inconsistent source of support over the past 60 years. As a result, there is a desire on the side of Pakistan to hedge its bets in Afghanistan and with the Taliban in case the US abandons their alliance.
- NATO could lose the war in Afghanistan due to a lack of resources and attention, but that could be avoided. Most Afghans do not want to return to life under Taliban rule, and the Afghan army has some positive aspects. Said Mr. Riedel, “The Afghan army is one bright spot in an otherwise very dismal picture.”
- Mr. Riedel also said, “To put an Afghan soldier on the battlefield costs $12,000. Let’s double their pay, which means half the Taliban will come over to our side because they’ll want the money, and we’ll still be paying 10% of the cost of an American soldier. This isn’t rocket science. It’s pretty obvious.”
- In closing, Mr. Riedel noted that a crucial factor in the dynamic between Afghanistan and Pakistan is that “the existential threat to the future of Pakistan’s freedoms and its liberties is not India. It’s from within. And our challenge is how to convince Pakistanis of that.”
The event, which took place on May 12th in the Trygve Lie Center, was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President and Director of External Relations.
The Global Observatory
The Responsibility to Protect Principle is Not the Problem: Interview with Jennifer Welsh
Why hasn’t the principle adopted by the United Nations in 2005 to prevent genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing—known as the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP)—helped to stop the war crimes in Syria?
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 26, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in Central African Republic
How to prevent catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) was the topic of an event at the International Peace Institute on November 26th. Ten months after a military coup brought the current transitional government to power, the Central African Republic is wracked by massive human rights violations, sectarian violence, attacks on civilians, and reprisals by self-defense groups.
December 10, 2013
Video: Human Rights in Peacekeeping
December 09, 2013
Video: Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]