Time for Politics in Kabul

American and European military and civilian leaders have said repeatedly that there is no purely military solution to ending the war in Afghanistan. Yet NATO states have no answer to the question that logically follows: What would a political solution entail?

LONDON – As US and NATO soldiers prepare for their tenth Christmas in Afghanistan, a new buzzword is making the rounds: “transition,” the process of transferring responsibility for security from international to Afghan forces ahead of the withdrawal of foreign troops, which is set to begin in the spring of 2011. But, in order to realize the hope that ordinary soldiers take from the new jargon, Western leaders will need to forge a clear political strategy for Afghanistan, without which the country will remain at war.