Over the Horizon: The Cost of Portraying Toughness in Afghanistan

The Obama administration appears to be in the throes of yet another debate about the long-term U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. Inside the administration, officials are weighing not only the material costs of remaining in Afghanistan, but also the political and bureaucratic implications of continuing the war. Undoubtedly, some are asking the question, “What would a withdrawal from Afghanistan say about the United States?” Some might answer that a withdrawal would embolden America’s enemies and indicate that the United States is both weak and unwilling to stand behind its friends. The late, esteemed George Kennan suggested another interpretation of such a […]

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