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Ending the Afghanistan quagmire

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It is impossible to win a war that you cannot define. That seems to have been the main lesson to be drawn from Afghanistan, where a so-called victory was unreachable. President Biden’s decision (“It’s time to end America’s longest war”) to bring back all American troops by September 11, 2021, was a courageous and right decision in what was by any measure a quagmire.

Writers can sometimes offer insights into a war situation that professional warriors cannot do. In 2001, American writer Philip Caputo offered a unique understanding of Afghan psychology. He had spent a month in Afghanistan with the mujaheddin as a reporter, during the Afghans’ decade-long war with the Soviets.

In the 1980s, Caputo was accompanying a platoon of mujahedeen who were escorting 1,000 refugees into Pakistan. They had to cross a mountain torrent on a very primitive bridge, consisting essentially of two logs laid side by side. In front of him was a terrified 10-year-old boy, separated from his family, his feet........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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