Fears of Blame for Defeat Shadow Afghan War Meetings


Gates Contradicts Obama: Afghan 'Exit Strategy' a 'Strategic Mistake'


Insanity Trumps Common Sense in Afghan Policy Fight

Alexander Cockburn, Truthout: "The ripest moment of absurdity last week was the spectacle of Pentagon officials berating The Washington Post for publishing the supposedly confidential assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, prepared by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, America's Man in Charge of that doomed adventure. The Pentagon asked the Post to cut certain passages on the ground that they would compromise national security. Since the document is commonly supposed to have been leaked to Bob Woodward by either McChrystal himself or one of his retinue, it seems silly to start whining about the irresponsibility of the press."



Afghan strategy: Mission improbable

Orange County Register
by Alan Bock


I have finished reading the assessment of the Afghan war by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the general tabbed by President Barack Obama to handle that conflict. I confess I was somewhat blown away by how thoroughly nation-building it is. I probably shouldn’t be surprised. Gen. McChrystal was chosen because he’s supposed to be an expert on counterinsurgency, and this assessment basically consists of plugging what can be garnered from the facts on the ground into classic counterinsurgency doctrine. The trouble is that while the doctrine is well-established among military intellectuals (if that isn’t an oxymoron) it has seldom worked in the real world...


Afghanistan: It is decision time

by Bruce McQuain


We can flood Afghanistan with troops, have them at a one-to-one ratio with the population and provide the security COIN requires. But if that population has no confidence in the viability of its own government, doesn’t support it and doesn’t consider those trying to topple it ‘the enemy,’ the entire effort is doomed. So essentially the choice facing the administration now is to nation build or withdraw. Withdrawal doesn’t necessarily mean we quit the fight against al Qaeda. But for the most part, it would mean quitting the fight against the Taliban. And I think we all know how that would end...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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