RAND Corporation. March 19, 2013.
Testimony presented Seth G. Jones before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Joint Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on March 19, 2013. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimonies/CT300/CT382/RAND_CT382.pdf [PDF format, 13 pages].
Center for Strategic and International Studies. December 30, 2012.
History has made it all too clear that there is no easy way to assess progress in counterinsurgency, or to distinguish victory from defeat until the outcome of a conflict is final. Time and again, “defeated” insurgent movements have emerged as the victors in spite of repeated tactical defeats. The Burke Chair has reviewed recent official reporting on the progress in the war as of the end of 2012 and found major gaps in unclassified reporting, and serious problems in the limited metrics that have been made available. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://csis.org/files/publication/130102_uncertain_afghan_violence.pdf [PDF format, 61 pages].
U.S. Government Accountability Office. December 19, 2012.
The military services can return major end items without documentation of cost and benefit considerations or analyses used in the decision-making process. Because the services have not consistently performed and documented analyses to support decision making concerning the return of excess major end items from Afghanistan, there is a risk that the costs of returning excess items may outweigh the benefits of returning them.
http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/651010.pdf [PDF format, 45 pages].
Congressional Research Service. December 6, 2012.
On May 1, 2012, President Obama gave a speech from Bagram Air Field in which he laid out U.S. government approaches for “winding down” the war in Afghanistan. While a number of observers have challenged the logical plausibility of a unilateral decision to “wind down” a war, the Administration’s commitment to decreasing U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan is clear. Many observers point to a coalescing vision of the way forward—shared by the governments of the United States, Afghanistan, and other international partners—that includes bringing the current campaign to a close by the end of 2014, and pursuing a political settlement among the parties in conflict, while extending U.S. and other international commitments to Afghanistan beyond 2014. In evaluating this emerging vision, some observers emphasize that the overall level of ambition has been lowered, while others stress that the timeline for international engagement has been extended. At this apparent turning point in both strategic thinking and activity on the ground, this short report considers issues that may be of interest to Congress as it considers the strength and duration of further U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, to 2014 and beyond.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/201981.pdf [PDF format, 18 pages].
Congressional Research Service. August 10, 2012.
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations. The Navy’s IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/196931.pdf -PDF format, 37 pages].