The U.S. Should Fight for a Negotiated Settlement, Not Victory, in Afghanistan

A U.S. Army officer and Afghan National Army trainers, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 23, 2008 (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David M. Votroubek).
A U.S. Army officer and Afghan National Army trainers, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 23, 2008 (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David M. Votroubek).

In a recent article for Defense One, national security expert Stephen Biddle argued that much of the debate on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan focuses on the wrong thing—the timetable for withdrawal—rather than on America’s ultimate strategic goals. The real objective, Biddle wrote, “is to end the war on terms Americans and Afghans can live with. But calendar deadlines and fixed withdrawal schedules make this almost impossible.” The only alternative to the collapse of the Afghan government and a likely victory by the Taliban, Biddle continued, is a negotiated settlement. This conclusion is solidly grounded in the long, bloody history of […]

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