Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Round and round

Those who are tired of reading about Afghanistan (and if you are I don't blame you) should skip what follows.

Stephen Walt is having none of the various possible "middle courses" on Afghanistan that have been in the air. "Trying to split the difference on this issue is not leadership; in fact, it is a recipe for failure," Walt writes. (He favors getting out.) This may be right but, as Walt knows, the all-or-nothing approach is not consistent with what seems to be Obama's general style. If they read Walt's blog in the White House -- and who knows, someone may -- this is likely to go, so to speak, in one ear and out the other. The recent moves to put more public pressure on Karzai re corruption, and Karzai's apparent efforts to respond, suggest that quick withdrawal is not going to be the decision. But Gordon Brown, for one, does seem to be thinking ahead to an eventual NATO exit.


hank_F_M said...


Walt is understating.

Military operations have a dynamic of their own often quite independent of the political situation, and which can drive the political situation where one does not want to go. (Another reason to avoid wars)

The status quo is militarily untenable. Reinforce to leave. That’s the choice.

If we weren’t there I would say don’t go. I’m ambivalent about staying, but it is not my decision, But it needs to be made soon.

LFC said...

And it looks like it will be made soon, though I think the length of the decision-making process in this case has been entirely commensurate with the difficulty and no-good-choices character of the situation.

By the way, I see that your blog had its fifth birthday. Congrats.

hank_F_M said...