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Afghanistan, Choose Your Enemies Wisely

America made its enemy larger after 9/11 by bundling together the Taliban, an internally directed insurgency, with the transnational terrorist group al Qaeda. In Iraq and Syria, the internal insurgency and the external terrorist threat have become one, resulting in a seemingly intractable problem. In Afghanistan, however, the insurgents and terrorists can still be addressed separately. Reconciliation, or bringing the Taliban into the political fold in Afghanistan, is the best way to prevent an Iraq- or Syria-like deterioration of the Afghan state.