Serial No. 112-97:2014 and Beyond: U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, Part I, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, November 3, 2011   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the opening statement of Steve Chabot: "One week ago the House Committee on Foreign Affairs heard the testimony of Secretary of State Clinton on the administration's policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although the details continue to change, the fundamental underlying policy remains the same, and it is driven by one key objective, withdrawal [from Afghanistan] by the end of 2014. Unfortunately, although the 2014 withdrawal date may be politically expedient, it is, in my view, strategically risky. The counterinsurgency strategy that President Obama announced at West Point in December 2009 depends on two key objectives, providing population centric security to create the space for governance, and an enduring commitment to fighting the insurgents to ensure that there is no doubt that they will ultimately lose. Both of these are determined by setting and, more importantly, stating a withdrawal date. If Afghans and regional actors do not believe we are committed to their safety, then they are likely to accommodate insurgents in an attempt to hedge their bets in advance of our anticipated departure. Similarly, if the insurgents believe that we will depart by a certain date, they will likely be confident in their ultimate victory. This last point is especially important. Reconciliation, which is the administration's current means of bridging the gap between the status quo and the 2014 withdrawal date, is, if at all possible, only so if the insurgents face certain defeat." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Zalmay Khalilzad, David W. Barno, Ashley J. Tellis, and C. Christine Fair. Each document discusses the various pros and cons of the current U.S. policy in regards to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Serial No. 112-97
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