The Afghanistan Problem: Why Are We in Helmand?

The military's summer campaign in Afghanistan has been misguided and needs to be fixed — now

David Goldman / AP

The military's strategy in Afghanistan has been misguided from the start — but it may be too late for Plan B.

The U.S. military does not move in mysterious ways. It plods, it plans, it plots out every logistical detail before launching an initiative. Things take time. For example: not all of the 21,000 additional forces that President Obama authorized for Afghanistan last winter have even arrived in the country yet. For another example: the battle plan those troops were asked to execute was devised primarily by General David McKiernan, who was replaced about the time the troops started arriving. McKiernan's plan reflected his experience in conventional warfare: he chose to deploy the troops where the bad guys were — largely in...

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