Molly O'Toole writes at Defense One:
The president’s pledges to end the costly and grueling wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have foundered. In 2013, Obama declared an end to the Afghanistan war, America’s longest. But the country has since seen a prolonged spike in violence, infiltration by new groups such as the Islamic State, and the Taliban’s widest reach since the war began in 2001, according to the United Nations. These setbacks, combined with what [Ashton] Carter called a “mistaken attack” by the U.S. military on a Doctors Without Borders hospital after the Taliban took the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan — and domestic criticism of the Obama administration’s plans for withdrawing U.S. troops — led the White House to rethink the drawdown.