44’s hello ’bout ‘nnouncing the AFPAK Surge will be scaling down by 10K troops this year enroute to unSurging the force levels had some interesting stuff in it. Kinda.
Zooming out of AFPAK (which featured only tiny bite sized bits about Land of the Pure – the PAK part of AFPAK) 44 unveiled a fake argument:
“…Already this decade of war has caused many to question the nature of America’s engagement around the world. Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face. Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad…”
Confronting every evil that can be found abroad does not always mean using force – and as someone who surrounded himself with a posse of rivals that were at times hot for ‘smart power’ and ‘soft power’ – or over dosing up internat’lly on extenze pills – 44’s discombobulation was unconvincingly underwhelming to the nth and easily provided Fokker fodder for several essay analysis. Like Libyavention for starters.
“…Will this plan work? It’s far too early to say, of course. The parts of the puzzle that are most susceptible to applications of U.S. military power – tracking down and killing Taliban leaders, and training Afghan army troops – appear to be going well. The non-military parts – nudging Afghanistan’s civilian government toward more efficiency and less corruption, persuading Taliban leaders to negotiate an end to the war – don’t.
“…44’s decision is a gamble, but so are many decisions in war. If Afghans on both sides conclude that the United States is leaving the battlefield, and the Taliban resurges, the president’s choice this week won’t look brilliant. But if the U.S. military’s assessments of the Taliban are accurate, that’s not likely to happen.
“…So yes, it’s a pivot point, both in U.S. strategy and in the politics of the war at home. From now until election day in 2102, 44 can (and doubtless will) cast our progress in Afghanistan in a new, more hopeful narrative. We’ve redefined our goals, we’re winning, and we’re getting out.
A junior studying journalism, military history and political science, Courtney was named one of 2010's "20 Hottest Women in New Media." She also created the infamous diplomatic, military and intelligence analysis site Great Satan's Girlfriend. Her expertise includes interventions, COIN, strategic uses of American power, global democracy promotion, authoritarian marginalization, gender apartheid, international relations theory and terrorism.
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I have the greatest respect for Andrew Bostom. I have read his writing for years and his depth of knowledge