America's Exit Strategy for Afghanistan is Flawed

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier keeps watch at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

It is time for America to end a militarized process that had its inception with the reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan decades ago.

Reduced to essentials, simplifying America’s goal and military exit strategy in Af-Pak, coupled with communicating the rewards that could accompany it in return for meeting America’s core security need, creates a potential path to peace that has been unknown in the region for two generations. It is time for America to end a militarized process that had its inception with the reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan decades ago. America is still cleaning up the legacy of the Cold War; it has both the responsibility and capacity to do so. All America really need is the political will to give peace a chance.

Philip D. O’Neill Jr. is an international arbitrator and educator. He taught national-security law at Boston University Law School for many years, and international arbitration at Harvard and Boston College Law Schools. His books National Security and the Legal Process and Verification in An Age of Insecurity were published by Oxford University Press.

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