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Strategic Horizons: America’s Limited Leverage in Afghanistan

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Despite unfolding disasters in Egypt and Syria and the damage to American security from the bizarre Edward Snowden episode, Afghanistan, which had begun to seem like last year's news, is grabbing headlines again. The Obama administration is undertaking yet another review of its options following the planned drawdown of U.S. military forces in 2014. Reports are that the administration, frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is considering a "zero option" that would leave no American troops in Afghanistan.

But before wholesale disengagement is even officially on the table, opposition to it is flaring. Angry at the idea, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon—a key Republican lawmaker—got administration officials to assure him that they were not contemplating a zero option. Ultimately, the administration’s policy review is likely to choose between slightly more or slightly less of the same. ...

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