Afghanistan options, with Andrew Bacevich & Bing West
May 7, 2012
President Obama flew into Afghanistan last week for a surprise visit on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. military raid into neighboring Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Speaking to a global audience, President Obama previewed this summer’s scheduled withdrawal of 23,000 U.S. troops from Aghanistan, announced a NATO goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations next year, and promised that the U.S. would build no permanent military bases there. And hours after he left, a suicide car bomb ripped through the heart of the nation’s capitol in Kabul. To help us understand the diplomatic and especially military options and challenges facing the U.S. and its NATO allies in Afghanistan, we turn to two of the sharpest analysts of the U.S. military involvement there: retired Army colonel ANDREW J. BACEVICH, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University; and BING WEST, acclaimed military historian, assistant defense secretary under President Reagan and a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam.