June 12, 2013
Seven Cities and Two Years: The Diplomatic Campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Marc Grossman
Abstract – The 2011-2012 diplomatic campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be a model for the conduct of twenty-first century American diplomacy. It was designed as a way to think holistically about the interaction of diplomacy with the other aspects of U.S. national power. It was built on the conviction that diplomacy is a key component of U.S. power, on the belief that a "whole of government" approach is the best way to meet twenty-first century challenges, on a commitment to the need to act simultaneously on key matters, and on the force-multiplying strength of fighting and working with allies, friends, and partners. Creating, shaping, and leveraging a web of strategic partnership agreements, international meetings, and economic initiatives, as well as by trying to open the door to an Afghan-led peace process, the 2011-2012 U.S. diplomatic effort sought to engage the countries of South-Central Asia and the international community to support a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan inside of a secure, stable, and prosperous region.
When President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced diplomat Richard Holbrooke's appointment as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) on January 22, 2009, they sent a message beyond South Asia. Secretary Clinton wanted the organization she and Holbrooke created to show that the "whole of government" philosophy–employing expertise and resources from all relevant parts of government to address the nation's most important challenges – was the right model for twenty-first century diplomacy.1 After Holbrooke's sudden death in December 2010, some asked if the SRAP effort to make and execute policy at the State Department in a unique way would continue. Secretary Clinton promised that it would, and starting in February 2011 when I was appointed to succeed Richard, I pursued the whole of government approach which I had advocated and practiced in earlier diplomatic assignments.
The purpose of this article is to describe how, building on the foundations laid in 2009 and 2010 and validating the whole of government approach, the SRAP team pursued a diplomatic campaign to support U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It draws throughout lessons both for future policy in the region and about modern diplomacy. The two years in the title are 2011 and 2012. While many nations are involved in the effort to bring peace and stability to South Asia, the diplomatic campaign during this time focused on Kabul, Islamabad, Istanbul, Bonn, Chicago, Tokyo, and Washington.
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President Obama laid the foundations for the 2011-2012 diplomatic effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the first two years of his administration. Secretary Clinton launched it in a speech honoring Holbrooke at the Asia Society in New York on February 18, 2011.2 In her remarks, the Secretary made clear that the military surge then underway in Afghanistan was a vital part of American strategy. Without the heroic effort of U.S. forces, joined by many allies, friends, and partners, there was no chance of pursuing a diplomatic end to thirty years of conflict. She also reminded her audience of the "civilian surge" underway in Afghanistan, which had brought thousands of courageous Americans from many U.S. government agencies as well as international and Afghan civilians to promote economic development, good governance, the power of civil society, and the advancement of the role of Afghan women in their society. This civilian surge continues to have an impact on the lives of Afghans, and examples of its work abound. In 2002, an estimated 900,000 Afghan boys were in school and virtually no girls. By 2012, eight million Afghan students were enrolled in school, and nearly 40% of them were girls. Life expectancy has increased in Afghanistan by fifteen years, from forty-five to over sixty for men and women in the last ten years. In 2001, there were twenty-one thousand mobile phone subscribers. In 2012, there were sixteen million. In 2001, there was one state-owned radio/TV station. There are now over seventy-five television stations and 175 radio stations, and all but two are privately owned.3
Secretary Clinton then called for a "diplomatic surge" to match the military and civilian efforts to try to catalyze and then shape a political end to years of war. This meant drawing together all of our diplomatic resources to engage the countries in the region to support Afghanistan. It also meant, she said, trying to sustain a dialogue with the Taliban to convince them that they would never win militarily and that the United States would support the reconciliation of those insurgents who met the three important end conditions: break with al-Qaeda, end violence, and live inside the constitution of Afghanistan, which guarantees the rights of all individuals, especially women.
To meet Secretary Clinton's challenge to create the diplomatic surge, I decided first to refer to the diplomatic surge as a "diplomatic campaign" to emphasize that this would not be a series of ad hoc engagements but instead an effort that followed a comprehensive plan.4 The campaign would require simultaneous, coordinated action by the SRAP team to connect the military effort with the instruments of non-military power in South and Central Asia, including official development assistance, involvement of the private sector, support for civil society, and the use of both bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
Building on the work that had been done in 2009-2010 and the military and civilian efforts underway, the 2011-2012 diplomatic campaign had three objectives: first, we sought to create a regional structure to support a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan inside of a secure, stable, and prosperous region. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was a particularly keen proponent of the need for a regional approach.5 Second, we set out to try to sustain a dialogue with the Taliban and other insurgents. Third, we wanted to engage the leadership of Pakistan in a useful bilateral conversation to seek their crucial contribution to an Afghan peace process and connect them to regional structures to support Afghanistan that would benefit them as well.
As we reviewed the diplomatic calendar after Secretary Clinton's speech, we devised a roadmap to produce political and material support for Afghanistan. With our Afghan partners, we pursued this roadmap by shaping, guiding, and leveraging four international meetings already set for 2011-2012: a meeting of Afghanistan's neighbors in November 2011 in Istanbul designed to define the region's stake in a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan and what they could do to make that happen; an international meeting to mobilize post-2014 support for Afghanistan in Bonn in December 2011; a NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012; and an international gathering to promote economic development in Afghanistan set for Tokyo on July 8, 2012.
Beginning in March 2011, the SRAP team systematically imagined what could be achieved for the United States, the international community, Afghanistan, and the region when the Tokyo meeting ended seventeen months later. Our plan defined what needed to be accomplished at each meeting and the work that had to be done to produce that result. Every aspect of the diplomatic campaign was integrated to achieve the most comprehensive outcome. Every trip and every conversation with foreign leaders and diplomats at every level was used to press our integrated vision. Each of the four conferences contributed to the larger campaign and explicitly built on the one that had taken place before it. The diplomatic campaign benefitted from work done by the International Contact Group (ICG), an organization created by Holbrooke, to bring together over fifty states (many of them Muslim majority states) to support Afghanistan.
The government of Turkey took the lead in organizing the "Heart of Asia" conference in Istanbul on November 2, 2011. Undertaking extensive travel and making numerous diplomatic contacts, the SRAP team supported the Turkish government's goal to have the region speak for itself on how it should and would support Afghanistan. At the conclusion of the Istanbul meeting, Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and India all signed the Istanbul Declaration, a vision for the region that mandated specific follow-up actions, including cooperation on counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, and efforts to increase trade and investment.6
The German government deliberately set the Bonn conference in 2011 on the anniversary of the 2001 Bonn conference that had established the structure of the current government in Afghanistan. Again, the SRAP team supported the outcome sought by the Germans and the Afghans: a 2014-2024 "Transformational Decade" for Afghanistan. (2014 is the date NATO and the government of Afghanistan had chosen in 2010 at the previous NATO summit in Lisbon to end the combat mission in Afghanistan. It was also the year that the Afghan constitution called for the election of a new President.).7 On December 5, 2011, eighty-five nations, fifteen international organizations, and the UN met in Bonn to review the progress of the previous ten years and, crucially, to agree that the world would not abandon Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan made clear and specific promises in Bonn on governance, women's rights, and economic development.
At the May 2012 Chicago NATO Summit hosted by President Obama, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners took two decisions vital to the diplomatic campaign: first, NATO set a "milestone" date in mid-2013 when, consistent with the Lisbon Decision, one hundred percent of Afghan territory would have Afghan-led security forces in charge. This meant that while international forces would still engage in combat, Afghans would be in the lead everywhere in their country by that time. Second, as a result of the U.S.-led international diplomatic campaign carried out in close coordination with Denmark and the UK, allies and partners pledged $4.1 billion dollars per year for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 to sustain and support the Afghan national security forces (military and police).8
In Tokyo, the Japanese government and the Afghan co-chair sought to highlight the crucial role future official development assistance would make to the Transformational Decade. The Japanese government, strongly supported by another unified effort in Washington, secured pledges of $4 billion dollars in development aid for Afghanistan per year for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.9 Those gathered at Tokyo also emphasized the need for private sector efforts to develop the region and highlighted the adoption of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF), in which the government of Afghanistan pledged itself to specific, consistent reform, especially in the area of the protection and promotion of women's rights, in exchange for continued international economic support. Indeed, the MAF ties a percentage of assistance to the government of Afghanistan's achievement of these goals.10
In addition to the four international meetings, there were two other key outcomes of the diplomatic effort to create a regional structure to support Afghanistan. One was the emerging web of Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) between Afghanistan and its neighbors and allies. Afghanistan and India signed an SPA on October 4, 2011. The U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement, negotiated in Kabul by Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General John Allen, was signed by President Obama in Kabul on May 1, 2012. The true strength of the document is its commitment to tolerance, pluralism, individual rights, economic growth, and the future consultation between two sovereign states.11 Others, including the UK, France, Italy Germany, Norway, and China, have now also signed Strategic Partnership Agreements with Afghanistan.
The other key component of the diplomatic campaign's regional strategy was based on the recognition that no regional structure in support of Afghanistan would succeed without a strong economic component, including a role for the private sector. To that end, Secretary Clinton announced the U.S. vision—a "New Silk Road"—at a speech in Chennai, India on July 20, 2011.12 The American objective for the New Silk Road was to attempt to connect the vibrant economies in Central Asia with India's economic success. With Afghanistan and Pakistan in the center, they could both benefit first from transit trade and ultimately from direct investments. As President Karzai has said, Afghanistan could be an "Asian roundabout" through which the region's economic connections could be made.
Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake and his team, and leaders at the White House, the Commerce Department, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation were essential whole-of-government partners in promoting economic foundations of the regional structure for Afghanistan. The vision of a New Silk Road, recalling historic trade routes, was based not just on the hope that the private sector, supported by governments, could find a way to connect the region economically, but on ideas and projects already on the table, including the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) and the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement. Furthermore, a U.S. Geological Survey had concluded that Afghanistan has substantial potential mineral wealth, including rare earth minerals.13 And the region itself had already recognized the necessity of economic links through its own organizations. Trade between Pakistan and India, with the encouragement of both governments, was also expanding.
The New Silk Road vision highlights a compelling aspect of twenty-first century diplomacy: acting on opportunities and challenges simultaneously. As Philip Bobbitt wrote in his book Terror and Consent, "The problem is the picture of warfare to which we cling. The picture unfolds this way: peace-making by diplomats, war-making by the armed forces, peace-building by USAID and reconstruction personnel. The reality of 21st century warfare is that all of these tasks must be performed simultaneously."14 In his book Monsoon, Robert Kaplan provides a view of the larger connections: "Stabilizing Afghanistan is about more than just the anti-terror war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban; it is about securing the future prosperity of the whole of southern Eurasia."15
A successful New Silk Road would increase the incentives of the insurgents to give up their fight as it could provide, at least for some of their fighters, an alternative way of thinking about the future. It could promote the crucial role of women in development. A New Silk Road would signal to taxpayers in donor countries that their commitment would not last forever. Tying development assistance to the larger vision of connecting Central Asian and South Asian economies with a regional structure for Afghanistan made and continues to make the New Silk Road a quintessential whole of government operation.
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Alongside setting the conditions for Afghanistan's Transformational Decade, the other major objective of the diplomatic campaign was to see if it was possible to sustain the conversation with the Taliban that had started in 2010 to explore the creation of an Afghan-led peace process. In her speech at the Asia Society, Secretary Clinton set three end conditions (not pre-conditions) for those Taliban who ultimately chose to reconcile and live peacefully in Afghanistan: first, they had to break with al-Qaeda. Second, they had to end violence. Third, they had to be prepared to live in an Afghanistan that protected the rights of all individuals, minority groups, and, especially, women. She also referred to the challenge of talking with enemies. She recognized the difficulty of talking to insurgents, saying that "diplomacy would be easy if we only had to talk to our friends. But that is not how one makes peace." She concluded that testing the Taliban's willingness to talk and accept the end conditions was worth the risk. Former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department Mitchell Reiss writes in his book Negotiating With Evil that in his numerous interviews with people who were involved in this type of negotiation, the moral challenge of talking to the enemy was balanced by the realization that, when negotiations succeed: "There aren't so many funerals."16
The purpose of the contact between U.S. officials and the Taliban that took place in 2011 and early 2012 was to try to negotiate a series of confidence-building measures that would open the door for the Afghan government to talk to the insurgents about the future of Afghanistan. The details of these meetings necessarily remain confidential. In March 2012, the Taliban chose to suspend talks with the United States. In a speech on April 3, 2012, Secretary Clinton said that the United States remained committed to supporting Afghan reconciliation so that Afghans sit down with other Afghans and work out the future for their country. She noted that "the Taliban have their own choice to make. We will continue to apply military pressure, but we are prepared to work with Afghans who are committed to an inclusive reconciliation process that leads toward peace and security."17
Although direct contact between the United States and the Taliban has not restarted, the idea that there needs to be an Afghan peace process is now squarely on the international agenda. There have been contacts between Afghan officials and insurgents. Afghanistan's High Peace Council is playing an important role in this process. A meeting hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron with Afghan President Karzai and Pakistan's President Zardari on February 4, 2013, yielded what Mr. Cameron called a pledge for "an unprecedented level of cooperation."18 As The Economist noted in its report of the session, they "even agreed to work toward a peace settlement with the Taliban within the next six months."19
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Key to the effort to attain peace and stability in Afghanistan is the United States' relationship with Pakistan. 2011 was an awful year in U.S.-Pakistan relations. In February and March, the Raymond Davis case, in which a U.S. contractor shot and killed two Pakistanis when he thought he was the target of a robbery, mesmerized both governments. On May 2, 2011, U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. After an initial positive reaction to the death of the world's most prominent terrorist, Pakistanis focused on what they said was a U.S. violation of their sovereignty and U.S.-Pakistan relations deteriorated. In September 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was attacked by fighters from the Haqqani Network, a terrorist gang that operates from Pakistani territory. On November 26, 2011, twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were accidentally killed on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border by U.S. aircraft.
At this point, we decided that it would be best to step back and let Pakistanis debate the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and come to their own conclusions before it would be possible to reengage. On April 12, 2012, the Pakistani Parliament unanimously approved the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security for U.S.-Pakistan relations.20 In Washington, these recommendations were read as far from ideal, but they formed the basis of a new dialogue. When Secretary Clinton met President Zardari in Chicago in May, the two sides agreed to try to draft a work plan for the next six months, including reopening of the ground lines of communication from Afghanistan through Pakistan (Deputy Secretary of State Nides and Finance Minister Shaikh accomplished this task), a focus on supporting the Afghan peace process, joint counterterrorism efforts, and a recognition that it was time to move the U.S.-Pakistan economic relationship from one that was centered on U.S. aid to Pakistan to one based on trade and investment.
Secretary Clinton met Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar in Tokyo in July and in Washington in September; she met again with President Zardari in New York that same month. Intense work at lower levels produced a number of actions and agreements, including restarting a number of Working Groups on key subjects, which followed the general philosophy that the United States and Pakistan ought to be able to identify their shared interests and act on them jointly. There was also an increase in people-to-people diplomacy (the U.S. Fulbright program in Pakistan is the largest in the world) and focus on women's issues and entrepreneurship. There is still much work to do on the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, but relations were better in December 2012 than they were in December 2011.
Vital to this improvement were Pakistan's efforts to support the Afghan peace process. The one bit of good news in 2011 was the establishment of the U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan Core Group, which by the end of 2012, had met eight times, including one meeting chaired by Secretary Clinton with Foreign Minister Khar and Afghan Foreign Minister Rassoul. In core groups meetings and, more importantly, in bilateral meetings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistanis had become more open about their support for an Afghan peace process and ready to engage in taking specific steps to promote reconciliation among Afghans such as discussing how to manage the safe passage of insurgents traveling from Pakistan to a potential negotiating venue. As The Economist noted in February 2013: "Pakistan's ultimate objectives in Afghanistan are not that different from those of NATO, its nominal ally. It has no interest in an endless war to which its own soldiers and civilians fall victim. Only an extremist fringe and a few misguided strategic 'realists' hanker after a Taliban restoration in Kabul: That would boost the Pakistan Taliban, whose target is the secular government in Islamabad."21
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The 2011-2012 diplomatic campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a vehicle not just of policy but also a way to think holistically about diplomacy and the interaction of diplomacy with the other aspects of national power. As former British General Rupert Smith wrote in The Utility of Force, "The general purpose of all interventions is clear: We seek to establish in the minds of the people and their leaders that the ever-present option of conflict is not the preferable course of action when in confrontation over some matter or another. To do this, military force is a valid option, a lever of intervention and influence, as much as economic, political and diplomatic levers, but to be effective, they must be applied as a part of a greater scheme focusing on all measures on the one goal."22
Several lessons can be drawn so far from the 2011-2012 campaign:
There can be no success without recognizing and then harnessing the power of simultaneity. President Obama best described this in his statement in Kabul in May 2012 after signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement in which he outlined America's five lines of effort in the Afghanistan campaign: transition; train and assist the ANSF; create an enduring partnership with Afghanistan; support the Afghan peace process; and work with the region.23All the lines of national effort must work together.
Afghanistan proves again that success is also impossible without allies, friends, and partners. The sacrifice of so many ISAF members and others in the international community in Afghanistan is worthy not only of recognition but also of understanding that the broader the coalition, especially if coalition members are also organizing themselves using whole-of-government principles, the more likely the chances for success. It is also crucial that the financial pledges made by allies, friends, and partners in Chicago ($12 billion for the ANSF) and Tokyo ($16 billion for development) turn into real money. With this support, Afghans will have a fighting chance to protect and even press forward the gains they have made since 2001 at great cost to Afghans, Americans and allies, friends and partners. Meanwhile, the government of Afghanistan must keep the promises it made to the international community in Tokyo in the Mutual Accountability Framework, especially on the role of women in civil society.
Without losing sight of Pakistan's social and political challenges, the United States can take steps with Pakistan to promote further counterterrorism cooperation and support peace in Afghanistan. Not intimidated by pre-election violence, Pakistanis turned out in large numbers to vote in the May 2013 poll. The election marks an historic transfer of civilian power from one Parliament to another. In working with Pakistan's new government, the United States can further support a pluralistic, tolerant Pakistan, encourage a shift from providing economic assistance to fostering trade and investment, and bolster a robust civil society.
If, as Rupert Smith argues, modern conflicts are a "war among the people", what the locally supported government is doing is also crucial, especially in the areas of governance, anti-corruption, and women's rights. The growth of a strong civil society is a foundation for the possibility of success. In any attempt to restart talks with the Taliban and other insurgents, Americans must be patient because it is for Afghans to decide their future. The Taliban has the more fundamental choice to make: it is for them to accommodate to the changes in Afghan society since 2001, not the other way around. There can be no reconciliation until the Taliban meets the end conditions laid out in Secretary Clinton's speech and endorsed by the international community in Bonn.
Getting the civil-military coordination right is crucial. There are challenges to achieving this end, including entrenched bureaucratic norms and the difficulty of fighting and talking at the same time, but there is no substitute for unity of effort. While diplomacy must be backed by force, the non-military instruments of power need to be organized into a coherent whole of government campaign and supported in the same way as the military effort. With that in mind, I hope that Secretary Kerry will keep the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan intact until December 2014, when he can mandate a return to a more normal structure at the State Department consistent with the completion of the Lisbon transition goals.
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We based the U.S. diplomatic campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2011-2012 on a conviction that diplomacy is a key component of U.S. power, on the belief that acting as a "whole of government" is the way to create a diplomacy that can meet twenty-first century challenges, on a requirement to harness the power of simultaneity, and on the force-multiplying strength of fighting and working with allies, friends and partners. The effort was built on America's unique capacity to set an example and encourage others to join in pursuing important objectives.24 The campaign also serves as an example of how far U.S. diplomacy has come in meeting today's global challenges and how much can still be done to create an American diplomacy for the twenty-first century.
Marc Grossman is a Vice Chairman of the Cohen Group and a Kissinger Senior Fellow at the Johnson Center for the study of American Diplomacy at Yale. A Foreign Service Officer for twenty-nine years, he retired in 2005 after service which included assignments as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Ambassador Grossman was asked to return to service at the State Department as the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, a position he held from 2011-2012.
The author wishes to thank Ted Wittenstein, Special Assistant to the President of Yale and Director of the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy, Jim Levinsohn, Director of Yale's Jackson Institute, and The Cohen Group for the opportunity to work on this reflection. The author also thanks Noah Sheinbaum for his many contributions to this article and for his guidance and support. Mark Steinberg, Mildred Patterson, and Ryan Crocker all carefully read the drafts and made many suggestions that substantially improved the text. Jessica Matthews and Nick Burns let the author try these ideas out at Carnegie and at Harvard. Jenny McFarland helped prepare the text and Chuck Daris reviewed it for the State Department. The opinions and characterizations in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent official positions of the U. S. Government. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the author.
- Among many others, see George L. Argyros, Marc Grossman and Felix G. Rohatyn, Embassy of the Future (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2007) and Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, Smart Power (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2007). Secretary Clinton's Leading Through Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (Washington, DC Department of Sate, December 2010) speaks directly to the whole of government concept.
- Hillary Clinton, "Remarks at the Launch of the Asia Society's Series of Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial Addresses" (speech given at The Asia Society, New York, February 11, 2011).
- USAID "Achievements in Afghanistan" 2012. Undated. These achievements are rarely noted in the press. A recent reminder is David Ignatius' "How Afghanistan Has Changed for the Good", Washington Post, January 17, 2013, p. A19.
- A useful dose of skepticism and a call for action is by Dr. Kori N. Schake, State of Disrepair (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2012). See also Marc Grossman in "The State Department: Culture's Destiny", Roger Z. George and Harvey Rishikof, The National Security Enterprise, (Georgetown University Press, Washington DC, 2011) p. 84.
- Henry Kissinger "How to Exit Afghanistan Without Creating Wider Conflict", Washington Post, June 7, 2011 and conversations with the author.
- "Declaration of the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan." (Istanbul, November 2, 2011).
- "Afghanistan and the International Community: From Transition to the Transformation Decade" (The International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn, December 5, 2011).
- NATO, "Chicago Summit Declaration on Afghanistan" (Issued by the Heads of State and Government of Afghanistan and Nations contributing to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Chicago, May 21, 2012).
- "The Tokyo Declaration: Partnership for Self-Reliance in Afghanistan, From Transition to Transformation" (Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, July 8, 2012). and "Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework" (Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, July 8, 2012).
- "International Commitment to Improving Aid Effectiveness," Section 12 and 13 in "Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework."
- "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" (Kabul, May 2, 2012).
- Hillary Clinton, "Remarks on India and the United States: A Vision for the 21st Century" (speech given at Anna Centenary Library, Chennai, India, July 20, 2011).
- Cheryl Pellerin, "DOD, U.S. Agencies Help Afghanistan Exploit Mineral Wealth," American Forces Press Service, July 30, 2012.
- Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 21st Century (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), p. 155.
- Robert D. Kaplan, Monsoon (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011), p. 14.
- Mitchell B. Reiss, Negotiating With Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists, (New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2010), p. 224.
- Hillary Clinton, "Remarks to the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Conference" (speech given at Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, VA, April 3, 2012).
- Lyse Doucet, "Afghanistan Peace Talks: 'The ball is now in the Taliban court,'" BBC, February 15, 2013.
- The Economist, February 9, 2013, p. 44.
- Zahid Gishkori and Huma Imtiaz, "Pak-US ties: Parliament unanimously adopts revised recommendations draft," The Express Tribune, April 12, 2012.
- The Economist, February 9, 2013, p. 44.
- Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force, (New York: Vintage, 2007) p. 409.
- "Remarks by President Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at Signing of Strategic Partnership Agreement," (Presidential Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012).
- Argyros, Grossman, and Rohatyn, Embassy of the Future, pp. 2-3.