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John ORyan Bullock
The Valleys Edge

16 2013

As the war in Afghanistan nears completion of its 11th year, it is not uncommon to hear members of the Armed Forces describe America’s long fight in the Hindu Kush as a series of 1-year deployments, cobbled together as units rotate in and out of the war zone with no real continuity or focus on a clear endstate. Such analysis is far more accurate than some may care to admit. As cynical as the comment may be, it gets to the heart of the reactive nature of the U.S. mission there and the challenges faced by the military as civilian policymakers slowly morphed the mission from counterterror, to nation-building, to counterinsurgency in an escalating war tragically overshadowed and undercut by events in Iraq (190).