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Frank Rich on the mess in Afghanistan

Frank Rich cuts through the noise on Afghanistan in this NYT piece. Among other points, he notes:

Those demanding more combat troops for Afghanistan also avoid defining the real costs. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the war was running $2.6 billion a month in Pentagon expenses alone even before Obama added 20,000 troops this year. Surely fiscal conservatives like McCain and Graham who rant about deficits being "generational theft" have an obligation to explain what the added bill will be on an Afghanistan escalation and where the additional money will come from. But that would require them to use the dread words "sacrifice" and "higher taxes" when they want us to believe that this war, like Iraq, would be cost-free.

He also mentions that there are only about 100 Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan. So exactly what are we doing there? Nation building?

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