Paul Richter covered the State Department and foreign policy for the Los Angeles Times out of its Washington, D.C., bureau. He previously covered the Pentagon, the White House and, from New York City, the financial industry. He was raised in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., and graduated from Clark University. He left The Times in 2015.
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After more than three weeks of inconclusive bombing in Afghanistan, the Bush administration is facing the same question that reverberated through the last two major U.S. military engagements: Can air power do the job by itself?
In a distant echo of Vietnam, some leading conservatives are quietly questioning whether the Bush administration is allowing its political goals in Afghanistan to excessively shape military strategy.
When the Reagan administration made a controversial decision to send shoulder-fired missiles to Afghan rebels in 1986, critics warned the move could come back to haunt the United States.
President Obama publicly vowed to “redouble” U.S. efforts against Islamic State hours after the terrorist massacres in Paris, but officials offered few details as to what he meant.