How Do We End the War In Afghanistan?
Is Donald Trump aiming for victory in Afghanistan - or permanent military occupation?
Last week Donald Trump announced what he said was a major shift in US policy towards Afghanistan.
His plan is short on details, but it will almost certainly involve sending thousands more American troops to fight in an occupation that is now well into its 16th year.
The new strategy - he said - won't be nation-building - but "fighting to win" and "killing terrorists.'
National Security HR McMaster summarized this strategy during a White House press conference:
"Winning in Afghanistan is really aimed at allowing Afghanistan to be Afghanistan. As the president said, not to nation-build, not to create a state in the U.S. image."
To me, that sounds less like a strategy for victory than a justification for a permanent occupation.
Trump - of course - says his administration's strategy will lead to victory in Afghanistan.
But is real victory even possible at this point?
Or - to borrow a phrase from George W. Bush - is it time to cut and run?