The drawdown of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, announced by President Barack Obama on June 22, is fraught with uncertainty and risk. In a country where armed conflict has persisted for decades, the dangers of renewed civil war are everywhere evident. Military disengagement must be carefully calibrated and staged gradually. To work, it will require a series of political, security, and economic agreements in Afghanistan, continued regional cooperation against Al Qaeda, sustained support...
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David Cortright is the director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge University Press).