Afghanistan, Choose Your Enemies Wisely

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Media Outlet: Foreign Policy

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.

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Jeffrey W. Eggers is a senior fellow at New America's International Security program, researching concepts to enhance performance in public policy toward the renewal of American prosperity.