The U.S. Challenge in Afghanistan

Political scientist Alex Weisiger discusses the war in Afghanistan.
November 29, 2010

As part of the political science department’s November 11 panel discussion, “The Obama Presidency: Assessing Year One,” assistant professor Alex Weisiger presented a general framework for understanding the new administration’s approach to foreign policy. His assessment drew in part on his own body of research on the problem of war, including models for where conflict comes from and factors that impact the duration and severity of war.

Weisiger, whose work focuses on conflict between states, noted that the Afghan situation is complex, involving internal conflict among various factions as well as outside parties who have become involved—a type of conflict that, he says, “can just drag on for a long time.”  Following President Obama’s December 1 speech announcing his decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, Weisiger offered his perspectives on the U.S. challenge in Afghanistan.