zaterdag 9 april 2011

America cannot and will not succeed in Afghanistan/Pakistan (06 Oct 2009) Intelligence Squared

06 Oct 2009
Minutes: 01:49:19

MP4 - 547 MB
Vimeo source

Intelligence Squared, the global forum for live debate, is dedicated to creating knowledge through contest.


Speakers: Ralph Peters, Steve Coll, John Nagl, Patrick Lang, James Shinn, Steven Clemons, John Donvan.

The Obama Administration has implemented a significant change in policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, which they view as a single challenge, AfPak. More troops and a new commander have been sent to Afghanistan, and the US has increased its level of support and aid to Pakistan. To many, this means they are becoming further entrenched in an open-ended quagmire where any military solution will ultimately fail. Others question whether they should care if Afghanistan has a strong central government or a democratic one. While most agree it should not become a terrorist haven, opinions differ on how this should be accomplished: more troops, covert operations, diplomacy?

And what to make of Pakistan? The US cannot allow its nuclear arsenal to fall into the hands of radicals, but President Obama has ruled out putting troops on the ground. The task of rooting out al Qaeda and Taliban militants falls to Pakistan’s army, which has, until recently, supported these groups as a hedge against future conflict with India. How much tolerance does America have for the long road ahead with AfPak? Can they ever “win,” and how would they even define a win in this region?

First vote: 48% For, 25% Against, 27% Don't know

Final vote: 43% For, 45% Against, 12% Don't know


Ralph Peters

Speaker Ralph Peters thumbnail
Former member of the US military and author
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer who rose from the enlisted ranks. As a soldier or civilian, he has experience in over 70 countries. Published widely as a commentator and essayist, Peters has been an opinion columnist for the New York Post since 2002. He has covered conflict zones in Iraq, Israel and Africa, and also has affiliations with USAToday, Armed Forces Journal and Armchair General Magazine. In March, he became Fox News’ first Strategic Analyst.

Peters is the author of over 20 books, published both under his own name and the pen name Owen Parry. His novels include The War After Armageddon (2009), and Flames of Heaven: A Novel of the End of the Soviet Union (2003). He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books about politics, conflict, and american foreign policy. They include Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World (2008), and Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World (2002). He is the author of works on military and international affairs, bestselling and prize-winning novels, and an adventure-travel memoir.

Steve Coll

Speaker Steve Coll thumbnail
President and CEO, New America Foundation
Steve Coll is president and CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post, serving as the paper’s managing editor from 1998 to 2004. He is the author of six books, including Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Coll had already been awarded a Pulitzer in 1990 for explanatory journalism. His 2008 book The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Award.

John Nagl

Speaker John Nagl thumbnail
President, Center for a New American Security
John Nagl is president of the Center for a New American Security and a visiting professor in the War Studies Department at Kings College of London. Nagl retired from the US Army after 20 years with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He led a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and served as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has taught national security studies at West Point and served as military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. Nagl is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (2002) and was on the writing team that produced the US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.

Patrick Lang

Speaker Patrick Lang thumbnail
Political commentator and author
Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of US Military Intelligence and US Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years. Lang is a highly decorated veteran of several of America’s overseas conflicts including the war in Vietnam. He was trained and educated as a specialist in the Middle East by the US Army and served in that region for many years. During his career, he has served as the Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service. Lang received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive for his work at the DIA.

After retiring for the second time from the government, he was a business executive for ten years in a large manufacturing company operating in the Middle East and South Asia. He is the author of Intelligence: The Human Factor (2004), The Butcher's Cleaver (2007), and Death Piled Hard (2009).

James Shinn

Speaker James Shinn thumbnail
Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense
James Shinn was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia in 2007-08. Before his work at the Pentagon, he served as the national intelligence officer for East Asia in 2003-2006, first at the Central Intelligence Agency and then for the director of National Intelligence. After serving in the East Asia Bureau of the US Department of State in the 1970s, he spent 15 years working in high tech firms, first at Advanced Micro Devices, and then at Dialogic, of which he is a co-founded. Shinn was senior fellow for Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations from 1992-1996.

Shinn is the author of Weaving the Net: Conditional Engagement with China (1996), and co-author of Political Power and Corporate Control (with Peter Alexis Gourevitch, 2005).

Steven Clemons

Speaker Steven Clemons thumbnail
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Steven Clemons is director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, which aims to promote a new American internationalism that combines a tough-minded realism about America’s interests in the world with a pragmatic idealism about a kind of world order best suited to America’s democratic way of life.

Clemons is a senior fellow at New America, and previously served as executive vice president. Publisher of the popular political blog The Washington Note, he is a long-term policy practitioner and entrepreneur in Washington, DC. He sits on the boards of the Maryland and the Clarke Center at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the CV Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown. Clemons is also a well-known political blogger for The Washington Note, and his writing has also appeared on blogs for The Huffington Post and Daily Kos.

John Donvan

Speaker John Donvan thumbnail
Correspondent for ABC News
John Donvan is a correspondent for America's ABC News. He began his career with ABC Radio in 1990, moving to their television station in 1982, where he covered events in the Middle East. In the mid-1980s, he was CNN's London correspondent. He rejoined ABC in 1988 and, based in London and Moscow, covered many of the major international news events of the last two decades of the twentieth century. He returned to New York in 1993, contributing to ABC programmes such as World News Tonight and Good Night America. He joined Nightline as a correspondent in 1998.

Donvan has won two Emmy Awards, two Cine Golden Eagles, and a number of Overseas Press Pack Awards.

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