Here is my latest at CIC: http://www.opencanada.org/features/blogs/roundtable/the-three-bad-decisions-made-in-afghanistan/ My big points are: in effort to figure out what went wrong, Canadians need to think beyond Ottawa (that is a different conversation), that the big three folks to blame would be the US, Pakistan, and, well, my favorite target, President for Life Karzai.
As always, a thoughtful, probing discussion of the challenges facing NATO and the alliance's mistakes. I would add one important lesson learned for future operations that I will call "blended missions." In COIN campaigns that are both about stabilization efforts and counter-terror ops, military leaders in Western democracies that lead such efforts need to start asking how we might achieve the CT objectives with or without success with regard to COIN BEFORE we launch COIN. Can we operate a CT campaign against al Qaeda or, more likely, AQ wannabes in that region with the Afghanistan of 1994 (warlord paradise) c. 2016? We seem to have been thinking along these lines for years in Somalia, why did we not do that in AFPAK? BTW this is research question just begging for exploration by some sharp security studies type.
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