Editor's note: Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz represents Utah's 3rd Congressional District.
At the conclusion of the decade-long manhunt for the world's most notorious terrorist, U.S. military forces are receiving well-deserved credit for a mission accomplished. The elimination of Osama bin Laden was made possible by a strong intelligence operation and well-trained special forces units under the Joint Special Operations Command.
In the global war on terror, the combination of actionable intelligence and highly mobile special forces has proven most effective against an enemy that is not limited to a single geographic location.
Amid the worldwide celebration of bin Laden's death, we must recognize that the nature of this war does not require the placement of 100,000 troops in one country. It was not the 100,000 troops that took out bin Laden. We can bring many of those troops home and still effectively fight terrorism around the world.Read the full story
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quick to suggest that the death of Osama bin Laden offered a unique opportunity for a wider settlement in a region riven by warfare and insurgency.
"Our message to the Taliban remains the same," she said Monday. "You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process."
That has been a long-cherished ambition of U.S. foreign policy - to delink the "good" Taliban from the "bad" Taliban and al Qaeda as a way of bringing peace to Afghanistan. As Clinton put in a speech to the Asia Society in February, the Holy Grail was to "split the weakened Taliban off from al Qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution."Read the full story
By David Cortright, Special to CNN
Editor's Note: David Cortright is the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or editor of seventeen books, including most recently "Ending Obama's War: Responsible Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan" (Paradigm Press, 2011). He testifies this week at a hearing on women in Afghanistan before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives.
What will happen to Afghan women when the United States begins withdrawing troops later this year? Will women be thrown under the bus as soldiers head for the exits?
To find out what Afghan women think, my colleague Sarah Smiles Persinger and I authored the report Afghan Women Speak, based on more than 50 interviews in Kabul with policymakers, diplomats, military officers, and most importantly Afghan women, including female parliamentarians, activists, health and NGO workers.
The women we interviewed realize they cannot achieve progress in a militarized environment. They favor a peace process and reconciliation with the Taliban and insurgent groups. But they do not want a peace that is purchased at their expense. FULL POST