Thursday, June 17, 2010

Anthony Cordesman writes on where we stand in AFGHN

Anthony Cordesman writes a lengthy but brilliant dissertation on where we find ourselves in the AFGHN conflict...

Very Insightful and must-read for anyone who wants to gain greater understanding to the larger issues than are being put forth by POTUS, dithering politicians and others who sit in comfort while others toil under the sun in the desert...

The opening salvo of his writing should leave you wanting more:

" There is nothing more tragic than watching beautiful theories being assaulted by gangs of ugly facts. It is time, however, to be far more realistic about the war in Afghanistan. It may well still be winnable, but it is not going to be won by denying the risks, the complexity, and the time that any real hope of victory will take. It is not going to be won by “spin” or artificial news stories, and it can easily be lost by exaggerating solvable short-term problems.

The Strategic Importance of Afghanistan and the Case for Staying in the War

Two critical questions dominate any realistic discussion of the conflict. The first is whether the war is worth fighting. The second is whether it can be won. The answers to both questions are uncertain. The US has no enduring reason to maintain a strategic presence in Afghanistan or Central Asia. It has far more important strategic priorities in virtually every other part of the world, and inserting itself into Russia’s “near abroad,” China’s sphere of influence, and India’s ambitions makes no real sense. Geography, demographics, logistics, and economics all favor other nations, and no amount of academic hubris can realistically model American reform of the “Stans” in ways that are cost-effective relative to other uses of US resources. "

Read the rest and exercise your gray-matter - it is well worth the time invested.

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