Faced with commander McChrystal’s grim new security assessment, the Obama administration stands on the brink of making major reforms to its Afghanistan strategy—one that is further complicated by reports of election fraud that diminish the legitimacy of its partner government in Kabul. Still the debate within the White House is said to be circling back to whether the president’s stated goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan—to "disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" the al Qaeda terrorist network—can best be accomplished by a lengthy, on-the-ground and resource-intensive counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban insurgency or through more targeted strikes and use of special operations forces against foreign, internationally-oriented terrorists.
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