The Military and Civilian Challenges in Afghanistan

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As America's longest war completes its tenth year, President Obama has promised a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting next month. There is heated debate, not just on Capitol Hill but within the Administration, over how many troops should come home and how soon. The cost of keeping 100,000 troops in Afghanistan is $10 billion a month. Since the death of Osama bin Laden, 64 percent of Americans say it's not worth the money. At the same time, the $19 billion spent to prop up the civilian government may create ongoing dependency on the US as well as local corruption. Is General Petraeus' "counterinsurgency" strategy working or not? How many troops should begin the President's "phased withdrawal" next month? What are the political consequences of continuing America's longest war or ending it too soon?




Warren Olney