US Opinion and Commentary

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Obama Just Signed a Blank Check for Endless War in Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 7:24 pm (UTC-5)
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While Obama suggested that the Afghan military is “fully responsible for securing their country,” his decision to maintain US troops levels effectively guarantees that the United States will remain deeply involved in Afghanistan until after the president leaves office in early 2017.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on New Timetable for US Military in Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 7:09 pm (UTC-5)
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Carter said the decision to delay withdrawal of American troops sends “a strong message to the international community that the United States is committed to Afghanistan.”

To Do List for the Next President: Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 6:28 pm (UTC-5)
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Barack Obama now finds himself standing firmly in the shoes of his predecessor, George W. Bush. In September of 2013, President Obama made this comment at a G-20 summit in Russia: “I was elected to end wars, not start them.” By Kevin Enochs

Obama Rethinks Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 1:32 pm (UTC-5)
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In what can only be seen as a dramatic reversal in policy, President Barack Obama has decided to delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, keeping the current force of nearly 10,000 in place past the end of his presidency, when they will shrink to 5,500. When Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, he pledged to end U.S. involvement in two costly wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. But with the Taliban’s brief but bold takeover of Kunduz province and the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State, the president was forced to reconsider his initial plan to finally put an end to America’s longest war. While some say it’s too little too late, others are praising him for acting against his strong belief that the United States must not march into what he calls “open-ended military conflicts.”

Out of Afghanistan? Not yet

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 10:03 am (UTC-5)
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Leaving a significant troop presence in Afghanistan wasn’t part of the legacy Obama envisioned when he vowed to end two wars. But legacy has to take a back seat to facts on the ground. Given the unraveling in Iraq and the recent gains by the Taliban, the U.S. can’t leave Afghanistan yet.

Mr. McCain’s Irresponsible Remarks About Sgt. Bergdahl

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 8:23 am (UTC-5)
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The Army’s decision to prosecute Sergeant Bergdahl for desertion and for violating rules that endangered his comrades was questionable, considering the abuse he suffered in captivity and the military’s failure to recognize that he was not mentally fit to be deployed to a war zone.

The Hard Lessons of Kunduz and Syria

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 11:14 am (UTC-5)
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If I had to pinpoint the single most important reason recent U.S. train-and-equip efforts have failed, I’d say it’s this: We consistently fail to understand that other people want to pursue what they see as their interests and objectives, not ours.

Our Shameful Foreign Policy

Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 10:48 am (UTC-5)
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Obama gave up the moral high ground a long time ago. He repeatedly refused to engage in the Syrian situation. He refused to deal with ISIS, considering them amateurs. The situation festered, and the Russians have taken advantage of the power vacuum left by Obama’s dithering.

Afghanistan: Is Taliban Siege on Kunduz Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 1:54 pm (UTC-5)
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It is not only the Middle East where one can see the results of President Barack Obama’s strong belief in keeping the U.S. military out of far-flung conflicts. A year after the bulk of U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban made a bold — if short-lived — move on the northern city of Kunduz. With a strong U.S. military assist, Afghan forces were able to retake control after four days. But the episode was ominous. Is Afghanistan ready to defend itself against a committed Taliban movement with only 9,800 U.S. soldiers on hand? Obama is making good on his campaign promise to end both U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But by doing so, Americans are now forced to examine what is left behind.

Ignoring Sexual Abuse in Afghanistan

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 9:43 am (UTC-5)
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By instructing American soldiers and Marines not to interfere, even if the incidents occurred on American bases, the Pentagon has chosen — reprehensibly — to sacrifice vulnerable children in order to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militias it needs to fight the Taliban.

The Afghan War and the Quarterly Report on Freedom’s Sentinel

Posted August 10th, 2015 at 9:33 am (UTC-5)
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As for the military content, the report serves no known purpose and has almost no meaningful content. The Lead Inspector General for Overseas Contingency Operations does not come close to dealing with any of the issues and problems raised in the Department of Defense’s semi-annual report on the war    

It’s Not the Taliban – It’s the Islamic State

Posted July 21st, 2015 at 12:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is now offering a new rationale for keeping American forces in Afghanistan, suggesting that the Islamic State — which has begun to make its presence felt with bombings mainly in the country’s east — poses a potential threat that must be confronted before it spreads.

The U.S. Needs to Keep Troops in Afghanistan

Posted July 8th, 2015 at 12:47 pm (UTC-5)
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We went to Afghanistan for a compelling reason: to ensure that Afghanistan never again served as a sanctuary for al-Qaeda, as it did when the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were planned there under the Taliban. The importance of that mission continues.

Time to Negotiate in Afghanistan

Posted June 25th, 2015 at 12:19 pm (UTC-5)
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Since 2001, opportunities for peace talks have come and gone. Sometimes, the process has stalled for political reasons … such as the United States’ reticence to engage with the Taliban. Other times, discussions have broken down due to miscommunications or a lack of political consensus … But this time may be different.

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?

Posted June 2nd, 2015 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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American culture is a victory culture. Coded into the American DNA are the fear of failure and the celebration of winning.