Monday, May 24, 2010

Speaking of Re-Setting: A-Stan Vs Iraq

The big question on Lost this year has been whether the nuclear bomb exploding last year re-set the past or not.  Well, I wonder if this news, that there are now more US troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq, means we are re-booting, trying to do Afghanistan correctly now after screwing it up the first time.  It may, indeed, be too late.  But I do like the idea of giving it a real try, as opposed to Rumsfeld's doing the minimum and save stuff for Iraq strategy.  Anyhow, this may not be a real tipping point, but it could be.

Lots of events of late with no clear trajectory--Taliban attacking major bases, Karzai visiting DC, Dutch re-thinking their departure, etc.  So, just like Lost, we really do not know how this is going to end.

1 comment:

Chris C. said...

I wonder if this "surge" in Afghanistan will work as well as in Iraq given that it's been well-publicized this is only temporary and Obama hopes to start the drawdown from Afghanistan within a year's time.

Part of the reason for the success of the Iraqi Surge was the uncertainty around the US's future commitment in Iraq- providing more troops without a clear deadline of withdrawal was a pretty strong signal and I think helped convince some of the wavering tribal leaders on our side. (It's like a time-inconsistency problem; it's better for us to say we'll commit indefinitely even if we probably won't!)

I can't imagine it would cost Obama that much politically to do so (his recent West Point speech made it clear he's taken ownership of the war), so I'm disappointed he's not willing to make the same kind of commitment that we did in Afghanistan. (Speaking of indefinite commitments, our support of Karzai ought to be wearing pretty thin lately- can we give him an ultimatum of some kind?)