Losing the War in Afghanistan in Four Steps

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Terrorism expert Peter Bergen writes in the New Republic‘s most recent cover story, “Today, Afghanistan resembles nothing so much as Iraq in the fall of 2003, when the descent into chaos began.” In searching for why that’s the case, he identifies four primary factors.

1. Allowing Osama bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora.

2. Under-funding and under-manning the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and refusing international help early in that process.

3. Turning the military’s attention to Iraq before Afghanistan could be stabilized.

4. Appeasing, and not demanding more out of, Musharraf and the Pakistani government.

The whole thing is worth a read, but if you want an easily digestible yet expanded list, take a look at something Bergen put together for Mother Jones this past summer. We call it “The Iraqization of Afghanistan.”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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