Following years in the US Marine Corps, serving with distinction in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nathaniel Fick, CEO of the Center for New American Security, has a good idea of what it will take to carry out an effective counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan. In response to President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that around 30,000 more combat troops would be deployed to Afghanistan, Fick said “The president has chosen the best of his bad options in Afghanistan…[by] clarifying US objectives there, bolstering international commitment to the mission and signaling American resolve.”
In 2005, Fick published the New York Times bestseller, One Bullet Away, about his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, highlighting some of the struggles that combat officers face. He has been featured in numerous television and radio programs, along with authoring a number of articles that have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post.
Fick also serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College, his alma mater, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
In addition to his distinguished military service, Fick has served as a visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an instructor at the Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Academy in Kabul. He also served on the presidential transition team at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Despite his praise for President Obama’s plan, Fick is remaining cautious, saying “If the President and his advisors can avoid falling in love with their plan, remaining realists focused on US interests and what’s achievable, then executing this strategy well offers the best chance of stability in Afghanistan and South Asia.”