The call strategy

Afghanistan expert Rory Stewart offers a sympathetic, yet not uncritical, analysis of President Obama’s war strategy. For my part, I remain skeptical: I was initially supportive of the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which I thought amply justified, but over time the justification for staying on in a nation-building capacity seemed increasingly elusive. Nevertheless, I hope that Stewart is right that a limited mission could yield real benefits for both the US and the Afghan people and that the President is shifting US policy away from “extravagant, brief, Manichaean battles driven by exaggerated fears, grandiloquent promises, and fragile edifices of doctrine” and toward the “responsible exercise of limted power and knowledge in concurrent situations of radical uncertainty.”

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