The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Picking Up the Pieces Unraveling Afghanistan

Having spun an artificial Afghan state into existence, we can’t leave without it crashing into the ground.

Published on December 19, 2013

any Americans think that President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw most if not all U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year will end the U.S. role in that country’s travails. To the extent they think about Afghanistan at all, most Americans seem to assume that when the last combat soldier has departed from what has been the longest war in American history, the United States (and its International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] allies) can close the book on Afghanistan with a mixed record of accomplishment. Indeed, if we listen to U.S. military commanders...