America Cannot And Will Not Succeed In Afghanistan/Pakistan

Next Debate Previous Debate
Afghanistan and Pakistan

October 6, 2009

The Obama Administration has implemented a significant change in policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, which they view as a single challenge, AfPak. More troops and a new commander have been sent to Afghanistan, and the US has increased its level of support and aid to Pakistan. To many, this means we are becoming further entrenched in an open-ended quagmire where any military solution will ultimately fail. Others question whether we should care if Afghanistan has a strong central government or a democratic one. While most agree it should not become a terrorist haven, opinions differ on how this should be accomplished: more troops, covert operations, diplomacy? And what to make of Pakistan? We cannot allow its nuclear arsenal to fall into the hands of radicals, but President Obama has ruled out putting US troops on the ground. The task of rooting out al Qaeda and Taliban militants falls to Pakistan’s army, which has, until recently, supported these groups as a hedge against future conflict with India. How much tolerance does America have for the long road ahead with AfPak? Can we ever “win,” and how would we even define a win in this region?

  • For the motion

    For

    Steven Clemons

    Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation

  • For the motion

    For

    Patrick Lang

    Retired Senior Officer of U.S. Military Intelligence

  • For the motion

    For

    Ralph Peters

    Retired Army Officer

  • Against the motion

    Against

    James Shinn

    Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    John Nagl

    President of the Center for a New American Security

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Steve Coll

    President and CEO of New America Foundation

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

More about the Panelists
See Results See Full Debate Video Purchase DVD Read Transcript
Listen to the edited radio broadcast

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to the unedited radio broadcast

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Subscribe to the Podcast
Clemons

For The Motion

Steven Clemons

Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation

directs the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, which aims to promote a new American internationalism that combines a tough-minded realism about America's interests in the world with a pragmatic idealism about the kind of world order best suited to America's democratic way of life.

Learn more
Patrick Lang

For The Motion

Patrick Lang

Retired Senior Officer of U.S. Military Intelligence

is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years.

Learn more
Ralph Peters

For The Motion

Ralph Peters

Retired Army Officer

is a retired Army officer who rose from the enlisted ranks. As a soldier or civilian, he has experience in over 70 countries.

Learn more
Shinn

Against The Motion

James Shinn

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia

was assistant secretary of defense for Asia in 2007-2008. Before the Pentagon he served as the national intelligence officer for East Asia in 2003-2006, first at the Central Intelligence Agency and then for the director of National Intelligence.

Learn more
Nagl

Against The Motion

John Nagl

President of the Center for a New American Security

is president of the Center for a New American Security and a visiting professor in the War Studies Department at Kings College of London. Nagl retired from the US Army after 20 years with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Learn more
Coll

Against The Motion

Steve Coll

President and CEO of New America Foundation

is president and CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post, serving as the paper’s managing editor from 1998 to 2004.

Learn more

Declared Winner: Against The Motion

Online Voting

About This Event

Event Photos

PrevNext Arrows
    PrevNext Arrows

    1 comment

    0|-
    • Comment Link Al Dorman Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:17 posted by Al Dorman

      Disgusting pro-establishment panel. Fake debate.

      Nothing more to say on the matter.

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.