The war in Afghanistan has emerged as one of the most pressing foreign policy challenges of the Obama administration. While there have been many studies on the best military approaches to take in this conflict, there have been comparatively few efforts to examine how the United States and its allies should best use their foreign assistance resources to achieve success.
The Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress commissioned an innovative scenario exercise to test how much “bang for the buck” the U.S. government could achieve in stabilization and reconstruction operations if it undertook many of the foreign assistance reforms advocated in previous CAP reports.
The results of the exercise are included in the enclosed technical study, "Swords and Ploughshares: Sustainable Security and US Policy in Afghanistan—A Simulation Report." Over the the course of three days, we learned the following essential lesson:
If the United States is to effectively conduct stabilization and reconstruction operations in fragile states such as Afghanistan and beyond, then robust foreign assistance reform is urgently required.
Despite the selfless dedication of America’s brave fighting forces, the war in Afghanistan cannot be won through military means alone. That is why robust foreign assistance reform should be seen as a key national security priority.
Please join us for the release of "Swords and Ploughshares" as Dr. Reuben Brigety and Dr. Patrick Cronin discuss this new approach to sustainable security in Afghanistan.
Click on this link to watch a short video highlighting CAP’s recent Sustainable Security simulation, which featured participants from the White House, the Pentagon, USAID, and the State Department.