Afghanistan and the Struggle to Walk Away

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Sgt. Richard A. Darvial and Spc. Corey C. Canterbury fire a mortar in eastern Afghanistan Dec. 11.
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There is a name for the human tendency to allow a questionable decision to overstay its usefulness and to stick with something when its harm is clear and the damage is evident to all. Economists call it "the sunk cost fallacy," a term that describes the tendency to keep plugging away and staying in a bad situation even when it's clear that the situation is not getting better.

CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper's book, “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” is about a lot of things, including how tough it is to walk away from a place where so many lives have been lost.