“We have to decide to win [in Afghanistan],” said Ambassador Volker last week at the Heritage Foundation. He was quoting former Spanish President José Maria Aznar in the meeting they just had with Heritage officials, but the U.S.’s 19th Permanent Representative to NATO and Senior Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University agrees. The will to win, combined with a counter-insurgency strategy that provides domestic security to Afghans is the first step, he says.

From that point I think you have to listen to your military commanders and say: “tell me what you need  in order to execute that strategy and succeed.”

Volker’s long career lends keen insight to his analysis of the Obama administration’s decision to scrap missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, two strong allies of the U.S. “The missile defense issue was never really the issue,” he says. It demonstrates that NATO is deeply divided over a resurgent Russia. “[NATO must] get a single coherent strategy on Russia.”