Afghanistan was once the good war. Seeking righteous vengeance for 9/11, nearly 90 percent of the American public initially backed a crusade to topple the Taliban regime in Kabul and purge the country of al-Qaeda. For years, Barack Obama described Afghanistan as the center of gravity in the struggle against international terrorism. In 2009, Obama surged U.S. forces in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000 troops. With money no object, U.S. officials tried to win over Afghans through initiatives like an Afghan version of Sesame Street called Sesame Garden (unfortunately, the Count character had to be cut because Afghan kids weren’t familiar with Dracula and were confused by his fangs). And then the good war turned bad.
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