Afghanistan: “Debacle” is Something You Never Want to See in a Headline

By: Friday August 13, 2010 3:05 pm

After the failure this week of an independently-run Afghan National Army mission, it’s obvious somebody’s gotta clean house in Afghanistan. But who’s it going to be, when Afghan president Hamid Karzai can’t get his parliamentary act together and International Security Assistance Force is trying to be more hands-off?


And In A War Where Afghan Perceptions Are ‘Strategically Decisive’…

By: Thursday August 12, 2010 5:24 pm

The argument that reducing U.S.-caused civilian casualties and contrasting their number with the Taliban’s brutality will contribute to a “strategically decisive” embrace of the U.S.’s allies in Afghanistan has been trumped.

Busting White House Spin on WikiLeaks: No Leak Required

By: Thursday July 29, 2010 9:35 am

President Obama managed to show just how nimble and how disingenuous an administration can be in his response to the WikiLeaks fiasco.

Rethink Afghanistan: What does it mean to be less safe?

By: Thursday July 22, 2010 7:10 pm

What does the story of a night raid in Wardak province tell us about the consequences of our war in Afghanistan?

Left-Right Agreement on Rules of Engagement, Strategy and Counterinsurgency?

By: Thursday July 1, 2010 7:15 pm

I might not agree with the way Uncle Jimbo puts everything in this video about the counterterrorism utility behind a counterinsurgent focus on reducing civilian casualties, but he dispenses quite effectively with the canard that counterterrorism can be successfully divorced from a strategy that invests the local populace in Blue Team/White Hat advances.

Perhaps there’s a better way of doing that than a resource-intensive counterinsurgency strategy, but I’ve yet to hear one that persuades me.

Memo to Politicians: Love the Afghanistan War in Public at Your Peril

By: Sunday June 27, 2010 6:30 am

One of the gems buried in Michael Hastings’ now ubiquitous Rolling Stone article is a senior adviser to General McChrystal thanking his lucky stars for public ignorance of the state of the war:

DARPA Seeking CompLit Experts

By: Saturday June 26, 2010 10:15 am

We neither have the competence nor are we investing in getting the competence we need to carry out our COIN project. For better or worse, we have not done what the country did during the Cold War, which is establish a bunch of Area Studies centers to gain deep competency in the culture and social science of the areas we were seeking to influence and fund people to go learn these difficult languages. Not to mention, we’re kicking out those in the military who do speak these languages.

McChrystal’s Revenge: Everyone Hates Karl Eikenberry

By: Thursday June 24, 2010 5:45 pm

In the wake of General McChrystal’s firing, supporters of his counterinsurgency strategy have shifted to the blame game. Their target? US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry. But is Eikenberry really at fault, or has he been right all along?

The Box Petraeus Is In

By: Thursday June 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Petraeus is Obama’s political insurance policy. Absolutely no one on the right will criticize the war while Petraeus is running it. The right’s only line of criticism on the war is that July 2011 is an ill-conceived deadline. But Petraeus backs the July 2011 “inflection point” on the condition that troop withdrawals after the date occur very slowly, and by picking Petraeus, Obama signaled his assent to that interpretation of his date. Still, Petraeus will testify on Tuesday, as he did last week, that he supports the date.

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