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1.As President Obama observed, "It is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan" (speech attached). What vital national interest is at risk in Afghanistan and how does our military involvement support the vital national interest? Explain and support your point of view using specific examples from official U.S. documents (NSS, NDS, QDR, etc.)

2. How does the 2008 National Defense Strategy counterbalance DoD's tendency to focus on conventional conflicts rather than irregular wars. 2 pages

The analysis and interpretation of each questions, minimum are 4 pages, but I will do the other 2 pages por each questions.

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Afghanistan and the Department of Defense

Now, I see in your instructions that I need some outside research here. That's no problem, and I shall use official sources, as you request.

1. How does US intervention in Afghanistan support "vital" US interest?

Obama makes it clear from the beginning that the destruction of terror bases in Central Asia is the main goal. Specifically, bases and training camps belonging to the shadowy al Qaeda. Obama assumes that the Taliban and al Qaeda are related and allies. The situation in Afghanistan has gotten worse. Pressure must be put on Pakistan to stop any assistance to terror cells in Afghanistan. Since the Afghan situation has spun out of control, Taliban forces are increasing in strength. Tis is the main thrust of Obama's speech at West Point, but it is not the end of the story.

The economic interest in Afghanistan cannot be understated, Robert Blake, State Department official for Asian affairs, said "The region's wealth of natural resources, nascent trade agreements, and a burgeoning network of transport and energy connections underscore the great economic promise of a more integrated South and Central Asia." This is crucial to the American economy (Blake, 2012).

In addition, in March of 2013, Blake was far more explicit on the economic reasons for intervention. He makes several points in his speech at the Turkic-American convention in Washington: first, that the energy infrastructure must be integrated. This includes pipelines to both India and China. To assist Azerbaijan in its port development, since the Azeris are a key ally of the US, Armenians are a key ally of Russia.

Blake makes two comments that tie the entire strategy together. First, "Energy is one of the most promising areas for increased trade and transit. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan energy corridor shows us that linking producers in the region with consumers in Europe is a win-win. We hope to see the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or TAPI, gas pipeline, as a similar boon for South and Central Asia." Notice that this bypasses Russia, and links US allies in the area: Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey (a member of NATO). Second, Blake says, ". . . the region is becoming more integrated through trade liberalization - which includes the reduction of non-tariff trade barriers, improved regulatory regimes, transparent and efficient border clearance procedures, and coordinated policies - to accelerate the flow of goods, services, and people throughout the region" (Blake, 2013).

This the central issue in the US intervention in Afghanistan. While Obama speaks of the threat of terror organizations, Blake is far more forthright. Excluding Russian oil and gas competition is essential. Mobilizing the ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines military interventions. An analysis and interpretations of each questions are determined.