Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker discusses his article on the U.S. struggle to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan.
Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and is the editor of FrumForum.
The killing of Osama bin Laden raises many haunting questions. Here's the most important:
Has our mission in Afghanistan become obsolete?
To think through that question, start with a prior question: Why did we remain in Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban?
The usual answer to that question is: To prevent Afghanistan from re-emerging as a terrorist safe haven.
There have always been a lot of problems with that answer. (For example: Does it really take 100,000 U.S. troops, plus allies, to prevent a country from becoming a terrorist safe haven? We're doing a pretty good job in Yemen with a radically smaller presence.)
If the impetus for the U.S. war in Afghanistan was the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda and pursuit of its leader Osama bin Laden, then what does his death means for our war in Afghanistan and against global terrorism? That's the question being raised by politicians, world leaders and security experts.
CNN's Kiran Chetry talks to a former CIA analyst and a legal policy analyst about the future of the war in Afghanistan.
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.
The military says gains made in Afghanistan over the last half year has created the "necessary conditions" to begin transferring control of security to the Afghanistan government in seven areas of the country inhabited by approximately 20-25% of the population, according to a new report prepared by the Pentagon for Congress.
The latest semi-annual report concludes insurgent momentum has been halted in much of the country though the gains are "fragile and reversible." However, the report notes that efforts to fortify government and development was "slower than security gains" over the the last six months.
Read the full report
Last night I talked to Eliot Spitzer about reports of an April 16 meeting between leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan where, as Eliot said, "these two supposed U.S. allies conspired to throw the U.S. out and look toward China as the benefactor." Here's my view:
Sometimes the United States enters places in South Asia and we assume it is all very simple – there are good guys and bad guys. We are coming in support the good guys, so we presume they should be on our side against the bad guys.
But actually there is an existing set of regional dynamics at work. We’re the interloper. We’re coming into this game pretty late. The regional actors think we are going to leave.
Initial troop drawdowns in Afghanistan this July will probably include the withdrawal of combat troops, the commander of international and US forces in Afghanistan told house lawmakers on Wednesday.
Speaking to lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee about the progress of the war in Afghanistan, Petraeus said he is "still formulating the options that he will provide to the president", but believes that combat forces will be included in that recommendation.
Afghanistan will need help from the United States after a planned withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014, Afghanistan's defense minister said Wednesday.
Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak made the comment to Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a visit to the Pentagon in Washington.
"It will need your help beyond 2014," Wardak said.
Gates complimented Afghanistan for taking what he called an increasingly leading role in their security.
President Barack Obama has announced plans to begin withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan this July, with all U.S. combat troops scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by 2014.
Some U.S. senators are questioning whether the ambitious plans to increase the size of Afghanistan's security forces are coming at a cost that Afghanistan can never afford to underwrite.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the size of Afghanistan forces - what he called "our ticket out of Afghanistan" - is under discussion inside the Obama administration.
Afghanistan Crossroads is where CNN's reporting converges -- bringing you a diversity of voices, stunning images and video, global perspectives and the latest news from on the ground in Afghanistan and around the world.
- This blog was archived in October 2011.
From all parts of the world and spanning all ages, more than 2,500 U.S. and coalition troops have died in Afghanistan.
Explore the names, ages and faces of the fallen