Monday, August 10, 2009

It All Depends on the Question You Ask [Updated]

Marc Lynch has a great post on Afghanistan--questioning not about how to do COIN the best but whether that is the best choice for the US. Does it make sense for the US to try to do "armed state-building" as Lynch puts it? Or would a more minimal strategy of keeping enough forces in or around Afghanistan to deny it as a haven for Al Qaeda be the right way to go?

Having just spent 20 minutes or so on a radio station or two in Alberta arguing that the Canadians should stay in Kandahar, I have to spend some time thinking of how to reply to Marc's question.

Lee Hamilton, former head of the House Foreign Relations committee, among other jobs, posted an op-ed today with a similar set of concerns:

Strategically, there are two broad and fundamental questions to be answered. First, how will our departure impact our regional and security interests over the next decade and longer? And second, is this type of war really the best use of American power and resources in today's world?
Good questions. But then Hamilton concludes with them--he provides no answers. Ug.

Still need to think about these questions..... More to follow

PS Things not so good in Iraq.

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