Editor’s Note: Each week we repost an excerpt of Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at WashingtonPost.com.

Team B efforts have long played an influential role in determining the outcome of intra-elite debates on critical national security issues. In the 1970s, the CIA’s Team B report on Soviet military capabilities, together with the work of the Committee on the Present Danger, encouraged the Carter administration away from détente and toward an arms race with Moscow. And the Project for the New American Century, led by William Kristol and a passel of neo-cons, was influential in swaying the Bush administration toward the invasion of Iraq.

A Team B report to be formally released tomorrow by the Afghanistan Study Group—an ad hoc group of former government officials, well-known academics and policy experts assembled by the New America Foundation—has the potential to be similarly influential. At a moment when the administration and too many members of Congress have failed to explore alternatives to Gen. David Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy, the importance of this clear and cogent report can’t be overstated.

The report offers a thorough analysis of why and how we must dramatically reduce America’s footprint in our nation’s longest and most expensive war…

For Katrina’s full column, visit WashingtonPost.com.