It would almost be funny that lawmakers give more credit to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Liz Cheney and alarmist Fox News anchors than to their own retired senior military leaders -- but only if the consequences weren't so serious.
Any Congress, particularly a hostile Congress, has the power to give any sitting president a major national security migraine -- and the incoming House GOP leadership has proven their determination to do just that.
We've been making progress for nine-plus years now, progress into the deadliest year for U.S. troops since the war began, progress into record levels of suicide terrorism directed at Americans. No more progress, please.
The Afghans are currently powerless because the fate of their nation, apparently, will be determined by certain events in the U.S. that are outside of their control, chief among them being the election cycle.
A profound societal change is needed that must start at the top. That vacuum of authority can be filled by a legitimate, unifying national leader that is seen as uncorrupt and has the capacity to build an independent nation.