The case against involvement focuses on the considerable cost of past U.S. efforts and the seeming futility of attempts to improve the situation.
Daniel Byman is foreign policy editor of Lawfare. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on counterterrorism and Middle East security. He is also a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
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Fear of resurgent terrorist activity is the main reason to remain in Afghanistan, but policymakers and strategists should view continued intervention as a means to a limited objective.
President Donald Trump intends to order the deployment of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. But even with additional troops, a continued stalemate is the likely outcome.
Even if the number of attacks on the U.S. homeland remains low, the Islamic State and its subsequent chaos will threaten U.S. interests in the Middle East for years to come.
We should prepare for an increase in violence from individuals who might have traveled abroad to fight on behalf of the Islamic State but who ultimately remain in their home countries.
The most consequential reasons for al Qaeda's decline include its underestimation of the U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign and the associated loss of its haven and global infrastructure; its killing of Muslim civilians; and the lack of a strong base among the people it claims to represent.
Al Qaeda’s power and influence have fallen considerably from its peak in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. The question is whether the group remains strong and may resurge, or whether the decline is for real and may even be permanent.