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Leonard Pitts Jr.: Wondering ‘what if’ as U.S. forces head back to the Middle East

If. Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high — and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Barack Obama’s Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.

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