Afghanistan: Looking For the Way Ahead

JON BEVAN / MOD / REUTERS

In an election campaign that has been interminably dull, even by German standards, the Sept. 4 missile strike on two oil tankers hijacked by Taliban insurgents in northern Afghanistan was always going to grab attention. The U.S. strike, called in by a German commander worried about the security of his troops, allegedly killed some 90 people, including dozens of civilians. It also reminded German voters that the distinction between supporting a combat mission — which is what they like to think their soldiers are doing — and tackling bad guys directly can blur pretty quickly in the Hindu...

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