Sunday, February 11, 2018

Commentary on Afghanistan

Optimism Among U.S. Military Leaders on Afghanistan. Kevin Baron, the executive editor for Defense One, writes a detailed article on why our military leaders are optimistic about Afghanistan. Read "Meet the Believers: The Afghanistan War's US Commanders are Ready For a Reboot", Defense One, February 5, 2018.

"Afghanistan is Worse Than Ever". Former SECDEF Chuck Hagel says the situation is bleak and that the time will come when the U.S. will have to leave. (Military Times,  Feb 7, 2018).

"Afghanistan Strategy is Messy, But  . . ." Tom Rogan provides his input on the Afghan conflict. "And even if messy, it's the best possible recipe for a more realistic victory - not defeat'". (Washington Examiner, Feb 5, 2018).

What Winning Looks Like. Nicholas Grossman, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois and editor-at-large of Arc Digital, says we need to hold the line in Afghanistan. He has some good points although he seems to think you 100,000 troops in Afghanistan to do counterinsurgency (Ummm . . . ) Read "The U.S. Needs to Rethink What Winning in Afghanistan Looks Like", National Review, February 7, 2018.

Increased OPTEMP = Increased Casualties. The U.S. has stepped up its bombing raids and close air support operations while the ANDSF (supposedly) has increased its operations against the insurgents around the country. Borhan Osman writes that this may just stiffen the Taliban resolve to not engage in negotiations and could result in an increase in civilian casualties. Read The Cost of Escalating Violence in Afghanistan, International Crisis Group, February 7, 2018.

"The Great Game?" - Not in U.S. Interests. Lyle J. Goldstein, a professor of strategy in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I., assesses the nature of the Afghan conflict while analyzing the motivations of Russia and China. "The Absurdity of the New 'Great Game' in Central  Asia", The National Interest, February 6, 2018.

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