The War in Afghanistan is the longest in US history and the most expensive, at $1 million per soldier and over $100 billion annually. There have been over 2,300 US and coalition casualties, and tens of thousands of Afghan civilian deaths. Nearly 600 US troops are wounded every month. So it comes as little surprise that opposition to the war is growing: 51 percent of Americans now think the US should not be involved in Afghanistan; a stunning 72 percent—including 61 percent of Republicans—favor Congressional action this year to speed up the withdrawal of troops. And now, the main justification articulated for continuing the war—to prevent the Taliban from establishing a safe haven for Al Qaeda—is once again undermined by a just-released report from NYU’s Center on International Cooperation. According to the New York Times, the report concludes, “The Afghan Taliban have been wrongly perceived as close ideological allies of Al Qaeda, and they could be persuaded to renounce the global terrorist group.” The authors—Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn—are researchers and writers based in Kandahar. They have worked in Afghanistan since 2006, focusing on the Taliban insurgency and the history of southern Afghanistan over the past four decades. The… Read full this story
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