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Matt Waldman

Matt Waldman

Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

 

Experience

Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

Current Affiliation: Associate Fellow, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London, UK

 

 

By Date

 

2014

U.S. Army Photo

May 29, 2014

"Afghanistan: War Without End?"

Op-Ed

By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

"It is now abundantly clear that military force, with or without American troops, will not bring about an end to the war. Afghanistan needs substantial, long-term, international support, including to its security forces. But the best chance of securing a 'responsible end' to the conflict is through the establishment of a structured and inclusive peace process." 

 

 

U.S. Army Photo

April 2014

Strategic Empathy: The Afghanistan Intervention Shows Why the U.S. Must Empathize with its Adversaries

Report

By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

"...[H]ow did such vast and sustained investments not deliver a more favorable outcome? Conditions were undoubtedly challenging, but most observers — and indeed U.S. officials — agree that major mistakes were made....But the most egregious error of the United States was to pursue a strategy founded on a misreading of its enemy."

 

 

Spring 2014

"Matt Waldman: Seeing Through the Fog of War in Afghanistan"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Ramiro Gonzalez Lorca and Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

“We need to understand not just how mistakes were made, but why," International Security fellow Matthew Waldman says about his research on a conflict that has beleaguered U.S. foreign policymakers for over twelve years: the war in Afghanistan. Waldman offers his insights into underlying factors that have clouded policymaking judgment through the course of America’s longest war.

 

 

February 21, 2014

"Keeping Calm and Carrying On in Afghanistan"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Michael Keating and Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

"The future of international engagement in Afghanistan — centered around a U.S.-Afghanistan axis — is disturbingly uncertain. Dwindling U.S. interest in Afghanistan is now overlaid by exasperation, and the temptation is to walk away. But the right response to the crisis is to stay calm, carry on, and take concrete steps to bring the situation back from the brink."

 

2013

December 2013

"Dangerous Liaisons with the Afghan Taliban: The Feasibility and Risks of Negotiations"

Book Chapter

By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

Based on field research, this chapter explores the motivations and objectives of the Afghan Taliban, and in light of this, it assesses the feasibility, risks, and implications of negotiations to resolve the conflict.

 

 

November 2013

Obstacles to a Resolution of the Syrian Conflict

Report

By David W. Lesch, Frida Nome, George Saghir, William Ury, Former Associate Director, Avoiding Nuclear War Project and Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

The Harvard-NUPI-Trinity report Obstacles to a Resolution of the Syrian Conflict explores the Syria crisis from the broad range of actors involved in it. Through interviewing representatives of the internal and external opposition, the Syrian regime, the regional states as well as the wider international community, the authors hope to generate a more comprehensive understanding of the Syrian conflict, and to begin to identify areas of potential common ground. Obstacles to a Resolution of the Syrian Conflict compares the actors' varying interpretations of the origins of the conflict, their biggest concerns for the future are, as well as their thoughts on the possibilities for a solution.

 

 

Julian G. Albert Photo

August 1, 2013

"Fear and Loathing in Afghanistan"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Michael Keating and Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

"...[T]he United States rejected talks with the Taliban in the belief that it could defeat them. Unable to outfight or outlast the insurgents, it now favors a political solution. The problem with that, however, is that at this stage of the conflict, enmity and mistrust between the parties is engrained, U.S. influence is diminishing, and the Taliban are gaining ground."

 

 

U.S. Army Photo

July 2013

"System Failure: The Underlying Causes of US Policy-making Errors in Afghanistan"

Journal Article, International Affairs

By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

This article finds that there were severe shortcomings in the acquisition and processing of information and a lack of institutional self-evaluation; civilian and military leaders made major strategic misjudgements in mistaking the strategy for the goal, overestimating the efficacy of military force or resources, and drawing false lessons from history or analogous cases such as Iraq; leaders were predisposed to overconfidence and oversimplification; and, at the highest level, policies were distorted by domestic politics. The article contends that the cumulative impact of these shortcomings was sufficient to seriously disrupt the functioning of the foreign policy-making system.

 

 

AP Photo

June 20, 2013

"Taliban Qatar Office: A Small Step Forward"

Op-Ed

By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014

"Most successful peace processes, such as in Northern Ireland, have required years of confidential discussions. Without secrecy, parties constantly feel they need to project an image of strength to their respective constituencies, which hardens positions and hinders progress. The events of the past few days signify a small step forward — but a great deal of difficult work lies ahead."

 

 

March 13, 2013

"Is Peaceful Political Transition in Afghanistan Possible?"

Media Feature

By Robert Johnson, Jawed Nader, Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014 and Michael Keating

As the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of international troops in Afghanistan looms, the speakers explored what is required to ensure a smooth transition and avoid a descent into chaos.

 

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