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Security forces leave after responding to an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

Finding a Realistic Middle Way for the U.S. in Afghanistan

Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

While not as dangerous as Iran and North Korea, Afghanistan remains one of America’s thorniest and most frustrating security challenges. Since the George W. Bush administration intervened in that country after the attacks of 9/11, the United States has tried to create an Afghan government and train security forces that could stabilize the country and eradicate extremist organizations like al-Qaida that had been given sanctuary there under Taliban rule. The idea was that after some period of international help, the government and security forces of Afghanistan would be able to stand on their own.

Unfortunately this has not worked. While many Afghans have fought extremism with extraordinary bravery and some of the country’s leaders have pursued visionary policies, the political class—riven by factionalism, corruption and ineffectiveness—has failed to create a politically and economically viable nation or defeat the Pakistan-based Taliban. ...

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