“For all of our tactical valor, and the hedgehog nature of how our incredibly tough, brave and committed small units go about the missions we give them [in Afghanistan], once again our strategic compass is unmoored -- in part, maybe largely because we rotate 2-star and 3-star HQ constantly, leaving no enduring frame of reference for what we are doing.”

— retired Army lieutenant general David Barno, who commanded U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan for 19 months, from 2003 to 2005, in a recent email to his two Army-officer sons.

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