Small Wars Journal

New CNAS Report on Responsible Transition in Afghanistan (Updated)

Via e-mail: The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released today a new report on U.S. Afghanistan strategy authored by CNAS Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow Lieutenant General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), former commander of U.S. and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan; and Fellow Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger and civilian advisor to General Stanley McChrystal. In Responsible Transition: Securing U.S. Interests in Afghanistan Beyond 2011, the authors lay out a strategy for the post-July 2011 phase of the war, define the U.S. troop presence and commitment beyond 2014, and offer operational and strategic guidance for protecting U.S. and allied long-term interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In Responsible Transition, Barno and Exum provide policy recommendations - military and political - for how the United States and its NATO allies can get from summer 2011, when U.S. and coalition troops begin to draw down in Afghanistan, to 2014, when U.S. forces transition to a residual force and transfer full leadership of operations to Afghan security forces. Barno and Exum also consider "spoilers," or disruptive events, that could affect the success of any plan, including: a terror attack on U.S. soil originating in Pakistan; an adversarial Pakistan; a resurgent Taliban; and Afghan National Security Forces failure.

Update: "A Responsible Transition", a response by Joshua Foust at


Madhu (not verified)

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 5:14pm

In the comments section at Abu Muqawama, there is a link to a monograph on competing regional agendas in South Asia.

The arguments within are likely to be well-known to commenters here but it is clearly written and the cited papers look interesting.