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Robert Gates, who left his role as defense secretary this summer, has drawn criticism from members of the military establishment for allegedly lacking long-term vision, allowing military leaders to usurp civilian control and inadequately briefing and preparing the president for war. (more)

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Having assumed the position of the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen David Petraeus offers his guarded assessment of the status of the war in Afghanistan in this BBC interview, and he apparently believes (continued).

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With the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and (we hope) the waning of the notion of counterinsurgency, the U.S. is looking toward another Afghanistan strategy -- "counterterrorism" -- one that focuses on targeted killing of insurgents, rather than the whole "hearts and minds" thing.

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The Obama administration is thoroughly committed to defense of the empire it inherited; there is no or little retreat from the mindless expansion of American ambition. Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. The Obama administration is thoroughly committed to defense of the empire it inherited; there is no or little retreat from the mindless expansion of American ambition.

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"Courageous restraint," or stringent restrictions on engaging the enemy that were implemented to cut down civilian casualties in Afghanistan, is under fire by Britain's top general there after soldiers complained against the perceived inflexibility of the protocol.

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Loose lips sink ships and careers, but they won't keep Gen. Stanley McChrystal from taking his four-star rank into retirement. CNN reports that the White House is waiving a rule to let McChrystal stay at his current pay grade even though he's now a world-famous trash talker.

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The U.S. will eventually negotiate its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The only difference between now and then will be the number of dead, on all sides, and the amount of (borrowed) money that will be spent.

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The Afghanistan situation is worth analysis at two levels, that of the war itself and the domestic political effect of Obama's misguided decision to replace "Bush's war" in Iraq with his own in Afghanistan.The Afghanistan situation is worth analysis at two levels—the war itself and the political effect of Obama's decision to replace "Bush's war" in Iraq with his own in Afghanistan.

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