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Lessons From Post-Soviet Afghanistan Haunt Debate on Syria

Truman Project and Center for National Policy

In 2010, I was deployed to Afghanistan to provide logistical support for a team of combat troops, but found that part of my job was as a sort of front-line diplomat — an Army officer assigned as my unit’s primary liaison to an Afghan National Army battalion. After many cups of tea, shared meals, small talk and planning of joint missions (facilitated by some fantastic interpreters), I soon gained a great deal of respect for the Afghan officers and noncommissioned officers I worked with.

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