In the context of the current debate about Afghanistan—the reasons for the U.S. failure and the consequences of U.S. departure—Mike will speak about the recent history of U.S. strategy and policy in Afghanistan and the sources of policy failure, including typical features of foreign policy tragedies. He will assess the potential consequences of the U.S. withdrawal and the future of U.S. stability or “nation building” efforts under the shadow of the Afghan experience.
Michael Mazarr is a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, which he joined in October 2014. Prior to coming to RAND he served as Professor of National Security Strategy and Associate Dean at the U.S. National War College in Washington, D.C. He has served as special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2008-2009 during which time he worked primarily on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, and served on one of the ISAF commander’s assessment teams in January 2010. Mike has also served as president and CEO of the Henry L. Stimson Center, senior vice president for strategic planning at the Electronic Industries Alliance, legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, and senior fellow and editor of The Washington Quarterly at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He holds AB and MA degrees from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs. He is the author of Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy (PublicAffairs, 2018) which offered an in-depth assessment of that foreign policy failure based on declassified documents and over 100 interviews with participants.