Preaching peace, flexing muscle: America's 'surge' may only expand, intensify and prolong the Afghan conflict

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Obama will rush 30,000 new troops into the Afghan quagmire and arm-twist reluctant allies to contribute more token forces. Confusingly, Obama promised some of the 100,000 US garrison will begin withdrawing in 2011. The president insisted his objective remains destroying al-Qaida. But al-Qaida barely exists in Afghanistan. Only a handful remain in Pakistan. His real target may be Pakistan.

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