Author Biography

Valentina Taddeo earned her Master of Strategic Affairs, Graduate Studies in Strategy and Defence (GSSD), at the Australian National University, Canberra where she received a T.B. Miller Scholarship. Valentina's studies have focused on the Asia-Pacific Region, transnational security challenges, and defence and security policies. Valentina also holds a Master's degree in Foreign Languages, Cultures and International Communication from the University of Milan, Italy. Her thesis' argument was Japan's energy policy and its geopolitical implications. In addition to working as a consultant for the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Milan, Ms. Taddeo has also interned for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Multilateral Office for the Asia-Pacific Region. Valentina Taddeo may be reached for comment at: valentina.taddeo@hotmail.it.



Subject Area Keywords

Afghanistan, Al-Qaida, Counterinsurgency, Counterterrorism, Foreign policy, Taliban


This article examines the U.S. response to global terrorism and its campaign in Afghanistan from 2001 to today. The aim of this article is first to understand the fallacies, missteps, and misunderstandings of the U.S. approach in Afghanistan. Second, the analysis evaluates the lessons learnt and some possible strategies for achieving long-term stability and security in Afghanistan. In particular, the analysis focuses on the different strategies adopted by the United States and their achievements. Despite a first victory over the Taliban regime, the initial approach was focused on the enemy only and it lacked long-term planning, paving the way to an insurgent movement against the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Then, in 2003 the U.S. strategy started to focus on the population, government institutions, and local support. This shift involved a significant change in tactics and operations and achieved positive results from 2003 to 2005. However, since 2005 the situation has deteriorated, casualties have increased and both the Taliban and al-Qaida have gathered strength. Despite the injection of new troops, the U.S. and coalition forces have not find a way to stabilize the country yet. The defeat of al-Qaida and the stability of Afghanistan are, therefore, far from being achieved.