Ten Second News

Pak-ghanistan

From Joe Klein’s good piece on Afghanistan: “Karzai is not incompetent,” a Western diplomat told me. “He is acting according to his own priorities — his family, his tribe, his nation, in that order.” And why shouldn’t he?  Why exactly should Karzai be some Afghan nationalist just because the US wants him to be?  Clan/family,…

War Is Politics By Other Means

Scott’s recent post on President Obama’s decision re: Afghanistan is worth the read.  He makes a number of very interesting points, but I’m not quite sure I get this part. Scott quotes the following from Kevin Drum: There are two possible reasons for the speech being so unconvincing: either Obama doesn’t know how to deliver…

Likelihood of Success in Afghanistan

Spoiler Alert:  Not likely. Dr. Andrew Enterline and Joseph Magagnoli (a grad student of Enterline’s) have co-written a report surveying the history of counterinsugency success rates in the 20th century.  In this instance, counterinsurgency undertaken by a foreign/colonial power in order to assist in a local appointed state government (i.e. just like what we have…

Winning the War Fought in the Wrong Location (While Still Losing the Peace)

Freddie thinks that those (like Reihan) who are nervous about new so-called modest (or lowered) expectations should be.  Br. F-reddie also raises an question of feasibility of non-lowered expectations given Afghan history.  (Also check out ED’s important comment regarding the volatility of democracy in societies without rule of law, culture of transparency, less black market…