A Sadly Simplistic Afghan Debate

Nixon's handling of Vietnam and China could offer insights for Obama in Afghanistan.

Issue: Mar-Apr 2013

AS THE debate over America’s Afghan troop withdrawal grinds on, it’s time to consider the lesson of Richard Nixon, whose Watergate abasement obscures the reality that he has more to teach us on such matters than is generally recognized. The country could use some of Nixon’s strategic acumen these days.

This is reflected in the foreign-policy discourse unfolding in response to the Obama administration’s plans to speed up its exit from Afghanistan. It’s essentially a binary debate, simplistic in its terms. Neither President Obama nor his critics look good in this face-off.

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