Last month President Obama announced his long-awaited strategy for America's involvement in Afghanistan. With much riding on this decision--from our own national security to the future of this war-weary region--his announcement triggered vigorous debates on both sides of the aisle. After eight years, is this military action winnable? Is it possible to dismantle Al Qaeda and its extremist allies within the publicly announced timeline? Can we rely on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a government rife with corruption to "step up as we step down"?
While many pundits dissect the American-led war effort, few understand the region's cultural history, which reflects the country's position as a crossroads for successive waves of invading forces.
On January 7, professor Iraj Bashiri, who recently returned from the region, discusses what history reveals about a way forward in Afghanistan.