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The New Strategy in Afghanistan: Will it be a Home Run or Strike Three?

Beck, Jeffrey David (2009) The New Strategy in Afghanistan: Will it be a Home Run or Strike Three? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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After the terrorist attacks of September 11th the United States invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban in a quick and decisive war, effectively destroying the terrorist safe haven in the country. However, eight years later the U.S. and members of the international community remain there trying to keep terrorists and extremists from reestablishing their base in Afghanistan. To date we have only reached a fragile stalemate between the insurgency, composed of the Taliban and supported by al Qaeda, and the ISAF and U.S. forces within the country. Many argue we should give up in Afghanistan, believing our problems can be attributed to a poor strategy, a lack of resources, a lack of focus, or simply an unwinnable war. However, we now have a new President, a new commander in Afghanistan, and a new strategy that many have touted as a first step toward victory. This thesis examines the history of the battle for stability in Afghanistan, the history of insurgencies in the country, and other major issues challenging the rebuilding and stability of the failed state. The intent of this thesis is to contribute a further understanding of the conflict and challenges present in Afghanistan and its surrounding region. The effectiveness of the Obama administration's new strategy and direction in Afghanistan is also examined. While the new strategy is a step forward in Afghanistan, it is far from a silver bullet. Any victory still requires a true long-term commitment to the fight for stability in Afghanistan, the proper resources for the security of the Afghan people and an effective effort to eliminate the safe haven that now exists in Pakistan. Significant progress is achievable within the region. However, even if the Obama plan works as outlined true stability and success will not occur unless the U.S. and members of the international community avoid past mistakes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beck, Jeffrey
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKeller, Williambkeller@pitt.eduBKELLER
Committee CoChairGoldstein, Donaldgoldy@pitt.eduGOLDY
Committee MemberMorgan,
Date: 1 October 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 19 August 2009
Approval Date: 1 October 2009
Submission Date: 18 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: MPIA - Master of Public and International Affairs
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Afghanistan; al Qaeda; Counter-Insurgency; FATA; NWFP; Pakistan; Poppy Trafficking; State-Building; Taliban; Terrorism
Other ID:, etd-08182009-231640
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:00
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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