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Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 3, 2017 (AP photo by Massoud Hossaini).

Which Donald Trump Will Chart the U.S. Course in Afghanistan?

Friday, May 5, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump probably does not relish taking on a problem like the conflict in Afghanistan. It is a “wicked” problem, intricate and almost incomprehensibly complex, with a large and growing cast of participants playing a role or at least having a stake. Inside Afghanistan there is a mesh of actors with clashing, often incompatible goals. Outside the country a solution depends on Pakistan, which deeply fears India and has its own growing jihadi problem. Russia and the self-styled Islamic State, while late to the conflict, are now involved and muddling things even further.

But despite all this, Trump must frame a strategy: In statecraft, a problem ignored seldom simply goes away. ...

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