by Max Boot
Hoover Institution
April 02, 2014
Afghanistan long ago became known as the “graveyard of empires.” But while it is undoubtedly a tough place to fight and a tough place to control, its reputation is vastly overblown. In fact the last two empires to try to dominate Afghanistan—the British and Soviet—largely succeeded in achieving their objectives even after pulling their troops out as long as they were willing to keep extending aid to Kabul. Today, the US is preparing to leave Afghanistan while the Taliban still pose a major threat—but with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) increasingly capable of defending their own country. However, only if Obama is willing and able to keep adequate troop numbers in Afghanistan and continue to provide assistance in such vital areas as intelligence, logistics, planning, and air support post-2014 will the country be able to resist Taliban encroachments.

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