On August 1, 2009, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress launched an initiative to strengthen the transatlantic alliance. Our first priority was to encourage NATO member nations to share more equitably in the Alliance’s involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We also sought to convince NATO to adopt a broader political and economic strategy that encompasses not only Afghanistan, but also its neighbor, Pakistan, and the wider South-Central Asian region.
In January 2010, we released a report outlining a proposed strategy for NATO military operations in Afghanistan. This report identifies unused or mal-deployed NATO resources that could be deployed or used more effectively in the region. It also links the threat of widespread regional fallout and international terrorism with failure in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Following the release of this initial report, the Center’s NATO Expert Advisory Group undertook an assessment of the danger to Europe and the transatlantic community posed by extremist groups based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This assessment highlights the critical nature of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, and the costs of failure in the region. Our goal is to convince NATO member states and publics of the need to adequately resource the Afghan mission and remove operational hindrances covered in the Center’s first report.
The following assessment is divided into two parts. Part one identifies the wider regional and strategic danger posed by militants operating in South and Central Asia. Part two, which will be released in the coming days, examines terrorist groups based in the region and the danger they pose to Europe and the transatlantic community.