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Opinion | Linda J. Bilmes

Afghanistan is missing from the campaign

After 11 years, 2,000 American lives, trillions of dollars, and lifelong disabilities for nearly half of the soldiers who have fought there — we are still at war in Afghanistan. Yet if you listen to the election campaign, you would hardly know it.

The war has become an inconvenience that nobody wants to mention. President Obama — who added 30,000 troops in 2009 in a failed effort to stabilize the country — says he plans to bring these 30,000 home in the fall, leaving “only” 68,000 or so to toil for a further year alongside a similar number of unhappy NATO troops. Beyond that, he expects the troop levels to drop to a smaller “unspecified” number.

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