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Their Views

Staying in Afghanistan

President Obama on Tuesday announced a much-needed adjustment in his plans for drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, telling visiting President Ashraf Ghani that a scheduled halving of the 9,800 currently deployed troops by the end of this year would be set aside, and the force maintained into next year. This was a sensible response by Obama to a range of developments, including Ghani’s impressive efforts to improve relations with Washington. But the adjustment still falls short of what will be needed to give the new Afghan government a reasonable chance of success.

This snookered isle

The 2016 election is still 19 mind-numbing, soul-killing months away. There is, however, another important election in just six weeks, as Britain goes to the polls. And many of the same issues are on the table.

A boost for defense

Two pieces of good news about U.S. defense spending: President Obama and congressional Republicans recognized that cuts imposed by the 2011 “sequester” scheme are unacceptable, and both moved to restore tens of billions of dollars in funding for next year’s budget.

A higher cost for higher ed

The budget outline released by House Republicans would freeze levels of financial aid for poor college students, on the pretext that the Obama administration’s expansion of student assistance is expensive and ill-targeted. It’s a bad idea built on a faulty premise. Even if that weren’t the case, the proposal is a poor way to achieve cost savings or increase the efficiency of federal student aid.

Doing the right thing with a nasty nickname

Members of the board of education for the Lancaster school district in upstate New York felt an obligation to “set an example” for students and the community. So despite a great deal of pressure — including threats they would be driven from office — board members decided to stop using a school mascot and team nickname that slurs Native Americans.

Social inequality’s deepening roots

WASHINGTON — The rate of dog ownership is rising ominously. How can a profusion of puppies be worrisome? A report from the Raymond James financial services firm concerning trends in the housing market explains: Increasing numbers of women “are adopting dogs for security and/or companionship” partly because of “the great education divide.”

Dems are the new party of no

Democrats who have been filibustering the Senate’s consideration of legislation to combat human trafficking cited concerns with language they claimed would greatly expand the reach of Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion.

Keep US-Israel relationship strong

The surprising victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the polls this week represents a remarkable personal triumph, making him one of the Jewish state’s longest-serving leaders. Now, let the fence-mending begin — as hard as that might be for the Israeli leader and his American counterpart.