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When Policy Failures Gang Up

Walter Russell Mead:

VM thinks that hunkering down is the least bad option. We want the war to end as much as anybody, but you don’t get peace in a situation like this by making everyone think you are desperate for peace and on the brink of psychological if not military defeat. And we think that projecting a strong and determined US commitment to continuing presence in the Middle East is the best way to reduce the chances of both an Iranian nuclear weapon and a new war in the Gulf.

In any case, it will be easier to withdraw from Afghanistan after getting some kind of resolution of the Iranian issue. Iran is the priority, Afghanistan is the sideshow. To let a commitment to an Afghan withdrawal date weaken the administration’s hand elsewhere in the region would be to let the tail wag the dog.

Winning is always the least bad option. And it has a tendency to make your enemies take you more seriously.

Posted in Foreign Policy.

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