Rory Stewart has been one of those most intelligently as well as passionately engaged with the liberation of Afghanistan, so when he writes as soberly as he does in the essay "The Irresistible Illusion" in the July 9 London Review of Books, he makes one want to pay close attention. Let me quote his statement of the problem, as it is commonly propounded by our leaders:

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to