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Abu Muqawama: With War at Nadir, Afghanistan Still Needs U.S.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It is still too soon to tell what effect, if any, Sunday’s appalling massacre of 16 innocent civilians by a U.S. soldier will have on the war in Afghanistan or on the relationship between the United States and the government of Afghanistan. This apparent war crime arrives fast on the heels of the infamous Quran burning incident that led to both riots across Afghanistan as well as the murder of several U.S. servicemen by the Afghans they were meant to be advising.

Taken cumulatively, these events lead many to conclude that the U.S. and allied war in Afghanistan has reached a bitter nadir, with trust at an all-time low on both sides. The American people are anxious to bring the troops home, U.S. interests be damned, and feel certain the United States does not have a viable partner in either the people or government of Afghanistan. It is worth taking a step back, though, to consider the trajectory of U.S. and allied efforts in Afghanistan since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, in order to put these attacks in some context and also to identify the key issues ahead that this latest incident might yet affect. ...

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