War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

The lesson of Afghanistan

The lesson of Afghanistan

President Barack Obama was plainly bowing to the inevitable last October when he shelved plans to bring home all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by end of this year. It was clear that the war there wasn't going well and that the Afghan Army the U.S. had spent more than 10 years and billions of dollars to train and equip still couldn't be counted on to defend the country against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants. Mindful of the swift collapse suffered by U.S.-trained forces in Iraq in 2011 after the precipitous withdrawal of American forces there, the Obama administration wasn't about to let the same thing happen again in Afghanistan.

But the result of that decision has been to force...