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Jonah Blank answers questions about the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Every invasion of Afghanistan has eventually come to naught, either because the invaders paid insufficient attention to local culture or because they sought to impose centralized control. If the United States is interested in leaving behind a better Afghanistan than the one it found, it needs to take those experiences to heart.
Last year's nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan brought world attention to the decades-old Kashmir conflict. Claimed by both countries, the former princely state has been ravaged by a war that shows no sign of ending. Both rivals have invested heavily in blood and treasure to make Kashmir their own. Now Afghan-trained mujahideen are leading the fight, bringing their own foreign brand of radical Islam. Neither New Delhi nor Islamabad has ever asked what Kashmiris want. They would not like the answer: more than anything else, Kashmiris hope to be left alone.