The U.S. Doesn’t Have to Choose Between Counterterrorism and Great Power Competition

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier, right, and Taliban fighter, stand guard on their respective sides of the border at a crossing point in Torkham, Khyber district, Pakistan, Aug. 21, 2021 (AP photo by Muhammad Sajjad).
A Pakistani paramilitary soldier, right, and Taliban fighter, stand guard on their respective sides of the border at a crossing point in Torkham, Khyber district, Pakistan, Aug. 21, 2021 (AP photo by Muhammad Sajjad).
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In an address to the nation in early July, President Joe Biden suggested that one of the factors leading him to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan was the “need to focus on shoring up America’s core strengths to meet the strategic competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine our future.” For the past several years, the zeitgeist in Washington has been all about great power competition, or the need to prepare for potential conflict with countries the United States considers “near-peer” adversaries—namely Russia and China, but to a lesser extent, Iran and North Korea as well. The […]

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