President Obama’s June 22 announcement that a third of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be removed in little more than a year signals the beginning of the end for America’s military campaign in that country. The President says we are scaling back because the war against the Taliban is going well, Al Qaeda has been dismembered, and we need to focus on nation-building at home. His critics say the decision to drawdown is driven more by the president’s reelection bid and opinion polls. There’s some truth in both viewpoints, but nobody seems willing to admit the biggest reason we won’t be sticking around: the Afghans. U.S. leaders on both sides of the aisle have figured out that Afghanistan is not the stuff of which democracies are made — unlike Germany, South Korea, and other countries where we have stationed troops for generations. I have written a commentary on this subject for Forbes, which can be read here.
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