In the past several decades, the international community has relied on three approaches to deal with countries that descend into chaos. It has supported strongmen capable of reimposing order by force; it has given up in despair, leaving the country to sort out its problems as best it can; and, most recently, it has embarked on ambitious projects to reconstruct the country in the image of a modern secular, multiethnic, and democratic state. None of these approaches should be used in Afghanistan.

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