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WEB EXCLUSIVE: A Prescription for Tragedy in Afghanistan

If media leaks are to be believed, President Obama will attempt to chart a middle way in Afghanistan, sending more soldiers but not as many as General Stanley McChrystal would like. The New York Times describes the emerging strategy as “McChrystal for the city, Biden for the country,” a blend of the diametrically opposed approaches advocated by the general (who favors a counterinsurgency strategy) and the vice president (who wants to do counterterrorism operations only). The Times writes that “the administration is looking at protecting Kabul, Kandahar, Maza-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Herat, Jalalabad and a few other village clusters, officials said.” In the rest of Afghanistan, presumably, operations would be limited to a few air raids and Special Operations raids. Other media reports suggest that the administration is looking to send 10,000 to 20,000 troops — not the 40,000 that McChrystal wants.

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