Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, on a visit to Camp Nathan Smith, headquarters for U.S. operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan, told troops of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, that the likelihood of direct U.S. military engagement in Pakistan is very low but that “unfortunately, there are going to be more tough days ahead” in Afghanistan. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on September 3, 2009, on the same day that Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Obama administration’s effort in the eight-year-old Afghanistan war was “only now beginning,” Aubrey Immelman reported that former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) — my choice for successor to Secretary Gates — published an op-ed article in the Washington Post in which he cautioned, “No country today has the power to impose its will and values on other nations. … Bogging down large armies in historically complex, dangerous areas ends in disaster.”