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How the U.S. Can Escape the Graveyard of Empires

Dean Emeritus Admiral James Stavridis discusses how to solve the problems in Afghanistan, in his Bloomberg Opinion column.

The problems in Afghanistan often feel intractable, like a knot of countless ropes bound together. Every time a strand is pulled, another part of the knot tightens up. Currently,  the Taliban refuse to have talks with the Afghan government, which they label a puppet regime; the Kabul government insists that any power-sharing agreement allow limited numbers of Western troops to remain; the Pakistanis, who have long sheltered Taliban leaders, are unwilling to fully encourage a peace settlement; the U.S. and its NATO partners are sick of war and want out; the Russians play a complex double game, sometimes encouraging the Taliban and other times working with the government; and India and China covet the rare-earth metals and other minerals under the dry soil -- perhaps $2 trillion worth.

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