A great debate on Afghanistan

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger


Since the debate will be posted online, I won’t go into the details of how things transpired. For me, one of the most fascinating parts of the debate occurred near the end. Throughout the debate Boot had chided me for describing the U.S. government’s foreign policy of empire and interventionism as ‘morally degenerate,’ a term that he continued to mock. As the debate was drawing to an end, I pointed out that one of the reasons that Boot and other pro-war supporters felt the Iraq occupation has been a success is been the fact that ‘only’ a few thousands American soldiers have been killed...


Against surge logic

The American Prospect
by Matthew Yglesias


Today, the conventional wisdom in the United States is that the so-called ’surge’ in Iraq has been a stunning success, and its critics have been discredited. That’s why surgeniks Max Boot, Frederick Kagan, and Kimberly Kagan can smugly write in the March 13 New York Times things like, ‘Make no mistake: there is hard, costly fighting ahead in Afghanistan. But the fight is worth pursuing, and the odds of success are much better than they were in Iraq when we launched the forlorn hope known as the surge.’ At the same time, the conventional wisdom in the United States also holds that the situation in Afghanistan has become quite dire. … Even more, the conventional wisdom is that the situation has become dire in large part because we’ve barely been trying in Afghanistan. As the three write, ‘The main challenge is to overcome years of chronic neglect in terms of economic development, government services and above all security, which has allowed the insurgency free access to large swaths of the country.’ I’m not accustomed to agreeing with this neocon troika, but they are exactly right to finger neglect as a key culprit. Which leads, naturally, to the question: Neglect by whom?


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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