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Empire or Solvency?

Article by Justin Raimondo.
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You know something is up when Republicans start taking the lead in questioning our decade-long war in Afghanistan, and, indeed, something is up: a propitious confluence of circumstances and events, the most dramatic of which is the assassination of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces. In hearings held the other day, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) said he thinks the Afghan occupation is no longer justified:

“With al Qaeda largely displaced from the country, but franchised in other locations, Afghanistan does not carry a strategic value that justifies 100,000 American troops and a $100 billion per year cost, especially given current fiscal restraints.”

Now that the iconic leader of the jihadists has been put out of commission – and, perhaps just as significantly, a huge treasure trove of material confiscated from his hideaway has been seized — the pressure to fundamentally change our conception of this allegedly “generational” conflict is well nigh irresistible. Sen. Lugar is the senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, and has long been the GOP’s point man on overseas matters: for him to make a near-unequivocal case for rapid withdrawal is a sign of the sea change that has occurred in conservative thinking on foreign policy, a shift that has already happened at the grassroots level and is now percolating up through the ranks of the GOP congressional caucus. The death of bin Laden has triggered a turning pointing on the right.

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