What Are the Real Lessons of the Afghanistan War?

Afghan National Army soldiers open fire into mountains during an ongoing war in the Dangam district of Kunar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2014 (AP photo by Rahim Faiez).
Afghan National Army soldiers open fire into mountains during an ongoing war in the Dangam district of Kunar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2014 (AP photo by Rahim Faiez).

A few days ago, U.S. Army General John Campbell announced the formal end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. “The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” U.S. President Barack Obama then added. Whether accurate or not, the declaration of victory launched a scramble among national security experts to identify the strategic lessons of Afghanistan. The stakes of this debate are high. Because the lessons of Afghanistan will shape American security policy for decades, it is vital to get them right. The process of identifying strategic lessons is always rife with tempting missteps. For Afghanistan, […]

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