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Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency, and Contradictions: America's Lessons Learned in Afghanistan

  • Karl Eikenberry

For well over one decade after 9/11, America pursued three very different and difficult campaigns in Afghanistan. The CIA waged a war in the shadows to dismantle Al Qaeda, the U.S. military battled a resilient Taliban insurgency, and the State Department led efforts to help the Afghan people establish a legitimate government and repair their war-torn country. The missions unavoidably led to contradictions as different values were placed on counterinsurgency warfare, sustainable development, the promotion of rule of law, and clandestine operations against a deadly terrorist organization. Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009-2011 and twice a military commander of coalition forces in that country, will discuss the lessons we might draw for future large scale interventions into countries suffering from wars of internal disorder.

The video is available on the Aspen Ideas website and the transcript is posted below.