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The war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001, is already the longest military operation in U.S. history.In Afghanistan, America is engaged in a military effort to ensure that the Kabul government is not overthrown by an insurgency – more comparable to a neocolonial force supporting a friendly local ruler.First, the simple reality was that the Taliban inexorably advanced as American troops withdrew, putting the democratically elected Kabul government, which is friendly to the U.S., in mortal peril. Second, as America stepped back, it was clear that other countries – regional powers like India, China, Iran and Russia – would fill the vacuum. And yet, the United States cannot stay in Afghanistan forever. America is spending $45 billion a year on security and economic aid for Afghanistan.Recognize that other countries have an interest in Afghanistan and engage them.It cannot, for example, keep fantasizing about overthrowing the Iranian regime while simply hoping for a settlement in Afghanistan.
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