Vali Nasr: Drawdown Troops, Step Up Diplomacy in Afghanistan

June 22nd, 2011

By Vali Nasr – Jun 22, 2011

President Barack Obama will want Americans to see his announcement of upcoming U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan as proof that we are defeating the Taliban. But for many, his decision will only confirm that 10 years of war, more than 1,600 American lives and $444 billion of taxpayer money have been wasted. The verdict need not be so dire.

It is possible to get to an acceptable outcome, but only if future troop drawdowns are tied to a clear plan for ending the war. Otherwise, a unilateral decision to withdraw will set the U.S. up for failure and spell disaster for Afghanistan.

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