Advice

Gorbachev: Get Out of Afghanistan

As Obama works on his strategy for Afghanistan, he may find himself visited by the ghost of Afghanistan occupiers past now that Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, is weighing in. Gorbachev, who assumed Soviet presidency shortly after Soviet troops withdrew from the wartorn nation—prompting a loss of interest from Cold War-minded America, which had been supporting Afghan resistance fighters—thinks the "long-suffering people" of Afghanistan deserve independence. "Of course, when we are facing a dangerous concentration of terrorism—and we see that in this situation—certainly, terrorists must be defeated. But the overall emphasis must be on dialogue," Gorbachev said. "Yes, withdrawal from Afghanistan should be the goal." The ill-fated Soviet occupation of Afghanistan resulted in millions of civilian casualties and refugees, and has been cited as evidence of the notoriously difficult-to-govern nation's intractability.