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With its new policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Obama administration has taken ownership of an orphaned conflict. But can it achieve victory, and how?
The first engagement in the new war on terrorism -- with Osama bin Ladin in Afghanistan -- poses severe challenges for the United States. Rooting out bin Ladin's network will require military success in a country that the Soviet Union could not conquer in ten years of trying, as well as support from unstable surrounding nations. Washington may be tempted to try to oust the Taliban regime, but doing so could rekindle Afghanistan's brutal civil war. The United States must proceed with caution -- or end up on the ash heap of Afghan history.