To Win Afghan War, We Must Fix the Politics

In recent weeks, Washington has fixated on President Obama’s decision about how fast to reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But equally important is helping repair the sorry state of Afghanistan’s destructive politics.

The Obama administration glossed over such issues in announcing that 33,000 GIs would come home by next summer. In his June 22 speech to the nation, the president emphasized progress in killing terrorists in Pakistan, and on building up the Afghan army and police, but talked of little else.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in testimony the next day, discussed progress in education and health care, as well as peace talks with the Taliban. But the former accomplishments have not prevented the resurgence of the Taliban since 2006. And the peace talks remain a long shot at best.

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