Sunday, August 6, 2017

Commentary on Afghanistan

STRAFOR Assessment. The folks at STRAFOR have offered their assessment of the war in Afghanistan. They provide the historical context and the current situation the Trump administration finds itself in - devising a strategy that works for Afghanistan (and the United States). Read "In Washington, War Fatigue is Setting In", STRAFOR Worldview, August 2, 2017.

The War Can't be Won by Military Means. Laurel Miller, formerly of the State Department, had a leading role in the Afghanistan conflict during the Obama administration. She is interviewed about the the current security situation in Afghanistan and outlines three courses of action under consideration by the Trump administration. See "America's former envoy to Afghanistan says the war can't be won",, August 1, 2017.

It's Time to Leave Afghanistan. Lucian K. Truscott IV writes in a column that it is time to leave Afghanistan. Read "Why we lost the war in Afghanistan",  Salon, August 5, 2017.

Max Boot on Trump and Afghanistan. Max Boot, a constant critic of President Trump, continues his critique in a commentary about Afghanistan, a proposed firing of General Nicholson, advancing McMaster to 4-stars to be RS Cdr, and comparing the Afghan conflict to a restaurant business. Read more in "The Afghan War's Third President", Commentary Magazine, August 3, 2017.

How Trump is Losing Afghanistan. Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, writes on the slowly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan in "How the Trump Administration is Losing Afghanistan", CSIS, August 2, 2017.

Needed Timeline for Success in Afghanistan. James Durso, a retired naval officer, writes about the need for a strategy that isn't 'more of the same' and that will show measurable results. Not facts and figures of how many ANP and ANA were trained in the past year; but something more concrete - like how many districts that Afghan security forces now control vice last year. Read "McMaster and Mattis Have Twelve Months to Succeed in Afghanistan", Real Clear Defense, July 31, 2017.

Evaluating the Privatization of the Afghan War. Rebecca Zimmerman believes we should take a closer look at the plan to use contractors in place of the military in Afghanistan. Read her thoughts in "Is It a Good Idea to Privatize the War in Afghanistan?", RAND Corporation, August 4, 2017.

Private Armies for Afghanistan Conflict? White House advisors Stephen Bannon and Jared Kusher recently had Erik Prince (former Blackwater) and Stephen Feinberg (DynCorp) in for a chat on how using contractors in Afghanistan could take the burden off the U.S. military. Probably not a good idea according to the editorial board of The Times Editorial Board. Read more in "The war in Afghanistan needs a change in tactics. Privatizing the military isn't the answer", Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2017.

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