We are now in our ninth year in Afghanistan - twice as long as were engaged in World War II. We have lost more than 800 troops. We have spent more than $200 billion. What do we hope to accomplish in Afghanistan? What is our exit strategy? What is the best way of protecting the American people from al-Qaeda and from terrorist threats? What is the most effective way of opposing the Taliban, an extremely reactionary group? How do we relate to the government in Afghanistan which is widely believed to be corrupt? How does the situation in Afghanistan relate to Pakistan - a nation with nuclear weapons? These are a few of the questions that have to be dealt with before we continue pouring more troops and money into Afghanistan. The time is now for a real national discussion about Afghanistan - including real debate in Congress. It is long overdue.

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Cross-posted from The Huffington Post.