Crushing lede by . I spent a 9/11 anniversary in Afghanistan in 2009 - 8 years into the war. That was 9 years, a surge, a withdrawal, and a surge ago.
“As it turns out, your middle-aged Pentagon correspondent was on the same plane 10 years ago with then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said the U.S. military would try to peel off ‘reconcilable’ elements of the Taliban”
sums up our position in Afghanistan nicely: "The distance between Resolute Support headquarters and the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul can’t be more than 50 feet, yet it is too dangerous to walk across the street from one to the other."