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With the Syria crisis dominating headlines, few are paying attention to America’s longest war. In fact, the war in Afghanistan has hardly been mentioned in the early months of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, despite the presence of two experienced military officers — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — in key positions. This must change.

After 15 years of failed intervention, the situation in Afghanistan is out of control. The unity government that emerged after the contested presidential election of 2014 is dysfunctional, and security conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Meanwhile, opium production is surging and Afghanistan now ranks second in the world in money laundering (after Iran). In Europe and elsewhere, inflows of Afghan refugees continue unabated.

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