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Good Reads: Global sympathy post-9/11, low Afghan Army recruiting, and the battle for Afghanistan

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The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks seems to be on everyone’s minds these days as that disruptive event continues to percolate through global politics.

Veteran Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg writes a fine piece looking into how and why the United States gained the world’s sympathy after the 9/11 attacks, and then lost it rapidly because of its unilateral foreign policy in conducting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

American politicians may not have gotten the memo, and may feel betrayed by the world's waning support for US policies. But the enduring legacy of the past decade is lost influence for the US, lost confidence in its leadership, lost respect for its effort to champion ideals such as democracy and human rights.

"Perhaps the Iraq invasion — the months-long public debate, the huge antiwar rallies around the globe, the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction — was primarily responsible for the fraying of that post-Sept. 11 global solidarity. Or maybe it was reports of abuses and civilian casualties at the hands of US troops. Maybe the world simply tired of the conflicts after a decade."

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