Following US President Donald Trump's announcement of a new strategy for Afghanistan, including a stepped-up military campaign, RTÉ News looks at a country that has become a byword for war and tragedy.
Donald Trump campaigned to bring the troops home and get out of Afghanistan. The US has confirmed it currently has 11,000 troops on the ground - much higher than previously thought. Now he plans to deploy an additional 4,000 - for as long as they are needed - to train local forces. What changed his mind?
President Trump says things look different from the Oval Office. Several key advisers are military men who have long pushed for greater involvement in Afghanistan. They include Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser HR McMaster, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joe Dunford.
Mr Trump offers no diplomatic vision to garner essential regional support. He criticised Pakistan, angering its ally China.