A Window On the War in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is at a crossroads. President Obama will soon decide whether to commit more U.S. troops to a conflict that’s already on the verge of becoming the longest military action in American history–or perhaps begin to dial back our commitment there. It’s been more than eight years since the war began, and for much of that time, it was a conflict that took place at the margins of our awareness. First the quick fall of the Taliban regime made Afghanistan seem like a problem largely solved. Then the extended agony of the Iraq war drew all eyes in that direction. But the problem wasn’t solved, the Taliban insurgency sprang back to life, and now Afghanistan is a military and political conundrum: Is it in our national interest to double down, or is the conflict an impossible one that will only come to grief?