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If you were a combat soldier or Marine or a CIA operative on the ground in Afghanistan right now, or the family of a combat soldier or Marine or a CIA operative on the ground in Afghanistan right now, who do you want in command of the American intelligence agency? The man who is regarded as the better counterinsurgency expert and can't keep it in his pants? Or the moral paragon of marital fidelity who is in any way less effective at counterinsurgency. That's a real-world choice. Just as forcing John O'Neill out of the FBI in the run-up to 911 was a real-world choice.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-11-16 05:53||
#3 Afghanistan isn't a counterinsurgency scenario.
In a counterinsurgency 'we' are competing with the 'insurgency.' The population is the judge and the prize is the population's good will, specifically their willingness to accept the legitimacy of our allies, the 'friendly' government.
In Afghanistan we can only gain the people's good will if the give them danegeld aid and most importantly prove that our troops are more effective executors of the will of the Afghan people than the insurgency. Then the people will support Karzai and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The problem is that the people aren't friends, they're weak and mostly passive aggressive enemies.
The 'friendly' government of Afghanistan has adopted a diplomatic posture more hostile than the Soviet Union's (post Khrushchev.)
Plus, 'moderate Taliban' are part of the government of Afghanistan even though the Taliban were originally slated to share in the terrorists' fate.
Under the COIN doctrine this disturbing state of affairs is considered a partial success.
COIN is not a viable response to an act of unlimited war like 9/11. However brilliant Petraeus' COIN theory might be its application in Afghanistan make as much sense as treating a rabies infection with a masterfully performed heart transplant.
Posted by Elmerert Hupens2660 2012-11-16 08:20||
#4 We continue to compound our error of 2002.
Not 2001, 2002.
In 2001 we jumped into Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda and to beat down the Taliban. We were smart -- air power controlled by special forces in a light footprint situation in which the 'Northern Alliance' provided the ground forces.
It worked. We destroyed most of al-Qaeda and chased the Taliban over the border. Success was ours.
Then we threw it away. George Bush's first big mistake of his presidency was to listen to Democrats, Europeans and academics (always a bad, bad combination) who told him, "you broke it (Afghanistan), you fix it."
We didn't break a thing, of course, since Afghanistan was and had been broken ever since the King had been deposed in the early 1970s. But the bleating of the 'moral' left led to the demand that we should do 'nation-building' in Afghanistan.
So we did, or at least, we've been trying. The result is a couple thousand fine young Americans are dead and tens of billions of dollars have been wasted (the correct technical term is 'pissed away') on a stupid idea that has and has had no chance whatsoever of being correct.
There is no nation to build in Afghanistan, and there won't be unless and until the Pashtuns and the Pakistanis decide to go along with building one. Which they won't do, and why should they? They're getting what they want.
I confess myself to being some blind-sided by our successes and thinking that perhaps the Middle East and Central Asia were ready for democracy. After all, naysayers declaimed the possibility of South America evolving from the thugocracies of the 1970s, yet that smart man Ronald Reagan had the foresight and perseverance to push for democracy in that continent -- now the majority of countries there indeed are democratic.
So too, the thought went, that the Middle East and Central Asia were 'ready', and we just had to push and be patient. We neo-cons would once again be proven right, as humankind, given a chance, will always choose freedom.
We're not right. At least, we're not right this moment. The Islamic world is not ready for freedom, it's ready for more religion. There is no way to establish 'trust' and 'reconciliation' in these countries for the simplest of reasons -- the people don't want those things. They want the security of religion and what that religion requires of them.
We neo-cons were wrong. Petraeus is not a martyr, he's just one of the architects of a vision that failed.
Time to bring our military home. Let the people of Afghanistan have, good and hard, that which they have demanded to have.
Posted by Steve White 2012-11-16 10:42||
#5 "The more successful the counterinsurgency is, the less force can be used and the more risk can be accepted."Maybe he gave them the pill as well.
Posted by tipper 2012-11-16 10:44||
#6 COIN is not a viable response to an act of unlimited war like 9/11
Well damn said.
Posted by Shipman 2012-11-16 16:39||