Michael Hughes: Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz claimed that war was simply a continuation of state policy – an instrument to be applied with other means – be they diplomatic, economic or otherwise. It was partly a caution against making military conflict an end in itself, although that is exactly what the United States appears to be doing as it prepares its “strategy” in Afghanistan. On June 29, the Defense Department said Pentagon chief James Mattis was in Brussels with NATO counterparts to fill in the gaps of the Afghan war plan. The final strategy, which will likely not be released until mid-July, is expected to include up to 5,000 troops focused on training Afghan forces, supporting special operations, and intensifying air support. Click here to read more.