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News Link • Afghanistan

Always Turning the Corner in the Afghan War

•, By Peter Hart
 And today, on the Washington Post's op-ed page (1/3/14), you can find his byline under the (print edition) headline: "Three Reasons for Optimism on Afghanistan." To the usually hawkish O'Hanlon,  the gloomy assessment of the Afghan War "requires rebuttal," because there is a "case for hopefulness on Afghanistan."

This sounds familiar–and it definitely should have sounded familiar to Post editors, since the paper has run a stream of very similar pieces from the same author. "Don't Give Up on Afghanistan" was the headline of his Post op-ed back in July (7/12/13), which argued that problems with the Afghan government are "no reason for the United States to threaten to pull the plug on all it has invested in Afghanistan." And, O'Hanlon stressed, "Virtually all other Afghan political leaders I know very much want the international community to stay." (What do Afghans who aren't "political leaders" have to say? A recent poll commissioned by the US State Department found only 40 percent were looking for a presidential candidate who would keep foreign troops in their country–New York Times, 12/29/13.)

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