Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev knows about ending a protracted occupation of Afghanistan--he's actually done it, implementing a withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988 and 1989, soon after he took power. Now, as President Obama weighs the future of U.S. strategy there, he tells Bloomberg that America should do the same:
"I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution," Gorbachev said in Russian through a translator. "What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society -- and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops."
Obama, meanwhile, is rumored to be weighing the opposite: Spencer Ackerman reported last night on the influence of special operations leaders in advising the president, noting that Vice President Joe Biden's vision for a scaled-back, counter-terrorism mission (which would not involve policing Afghanistan for Taliban forces, but rather attacking al Qaeda and other extremists along the Pakistani border) has been "cast aside," according to a National Security Council staffer.
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