Obama's Fading Afghanistan Strategy

The last few weeks have brought additional confirmation that domestic politics is driving US strategy in Afghanistan, raising in turn troubling questions about the direction and constancy of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. First, as illustrated by last year’s military intervention in the Libyan revolution, the Obama administration delights in drawing a sharp contrast between its predecessor’s unilateralism and its own preference for multilateral consultation and coordination. But the surprise pronouncement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that US combat operations in Afghanistan will end by late 2013 – a year earlier than expected – has undermined this principle.

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