TAK­ING EX­CEP­TION

This four-step process sounds su­per sim­ple

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Stephen J. Hadley, An­drew Wilder and Scott Wor­den, in their May 2 op-ed, “How to win the peace in Afghanistan,” gave us the for­mula to win there. But Mr. Hadley spent the en­tire eight years of President Ge­orge W. Bush’s terms as No. 2 and then No. 1 na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser. From de­pos­ing the Tal­iban and the U.S. in­va­sion through to hand­ing the “ac­count” over to President Barack Obama, he was there. And now, Mr. Hadley’s group has pro­vided us with a mod­est pro­posal on how to win. Fi­nally.

Let me con­dense the four ob­jec­tives: First, “de­stroy all Is­lamic State and al-Qaeda el­e­ments” there. Check. Sec­ond, stem cor­rup­tion, cre­ate a mod­ern econ­omy and in­stall good govern­ment. Check. Third, be clear that the res­o­lu­tion of a po­lit­i­cally driven civil war is po­lit­i­cal, not mil­i­tar­ily driven. Check. Last, bring in the var­i­ous re­gional in­ter­ests — China, Rus­sia, Iran and the mad­cap col­lec­tion of ’stans — to sup­port this. Check. So 16 years after be­gin­ning our mis­guided ef­fort (read the re­ports of the Spe­cial In­spec­tor Gen­eral for Afghanistan Re­con­struc­tion) to build a mod­ern na­tion there, one that is ranked 169th-most-cor­rupt (out of 176), the writ­ers say we need to dou­ble down on na­tion-build­ing. Check.

Peter F. Schae­fer,

So 16 years after be­gin­ning our mis­guided ef­fort, we need to dou­ble down on na­tion-build­ing?

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