F702 The Afghan War: Two Years into the Surge

Tuesdays, 2:00–3:30, Jan. 24–Feb. 14

Moderator: John Coffey

Class limit: 25

This course examines the Afghan war two years into the surge. Each topic has designated readings, which participants must read and be prepared to discuss thoughtfully. Participants will receive the readings prior to the beginning of the course.

 Jan. 24: Strategy and Tactics.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial Address, Asia Society, New York, Feb. 18, 2011.

President Barack Obama, Remarks on the Way Forward in Afghanistan, The White House, June 22, 2011.

General David Petraeus, COMISAF’s Counterinsurgency Guidance, Aug. 1, 2010.

Michael Hirsh and Jamie Tarabay, “Washington Losing Patience with Counterinsurgency in AfghanistanNational Journal, June 23, 2011.

 Jan. 31: Progress or Stalemate?

Nathaniel Fick and John Nagl, “The ‘Long War’ May Be Getting ShorterNew York Times, Feb. 20, 2011.

Michael Few, “The Wrong War: An Interview with Bing WestSmall Wars Journal, Feb. 21, 2011.

Peter Bergen, “The Crossroads: Can We Win in AfghanistanNew Republic, May 26, 2011.
    Note: Subscription required. Class members will receive a copy by email.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, “In Afghanistan’s South, Signs of Progress in Three Districts Signal a ShiftWashington Post, Apr. 16, 2011.

Stephen Biddle, “The Difference Two Years MakeAmerican Interest, Sept./Oct., 2011.

 Feb. 7: The Pakistan Connection.

John Schmidt, “UnravelingAmerican Interest, Sept./Oct., 2011.

Ahmed Rashid, “Cry, the Beloved CountryNew Republic, May 26, 2011.
    Note: Subscription required. Class members will receive a copy by email.

Bruce Riedel, "Counterterrorism in 2011: The Year of Abbottabad," The National Interest, Dec. 30, 2011 Added Jan 3, 2012.

Mark Mazzetti, “Brutal Haqqani Crime Clan Bedevils U.S. in AfghanistanNew York Times, Sept. 24, 2011.

David Ignatius, “The Price of Becoming Addicted to DronesWashington Post, Sept. 22, 2011.

 Feb. 14: Endgame.

Dexter Filkins, “EndgameNew Yorker, July 4, 2011.

Pamela Constable, “Dysfunction and Dread in KabulWashington Post, July 17, 2011.

Artemy Kalinovsky, “Obama’s Russian Lessons: How the Soviets Withdrew from AfghanistanWashington Post, Apr. 29, 2011.

Anthony Cordesman, “Time to Get Real About the Future in AfghanistanWashington Post, Sept. 23, 2011.

There will also be an in-class showing of the Frontline video “Kill/Capture,” shown on Public Broadcasting System, May 10, 2011, followed by discussion. Link to Frontline video added Jan 3, 2012.

John Coffey received a PhD in American history from Stanford University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He taught Western Civilization at Stanford and political science at Rockford College. He served in the Office of Defense/Policy, the Commerce Department and State Department, retiring from State in 2005. Dr. Coffey has published widely on foreign and defense policy.


Updated January 3,, 2012

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