Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What others have said...

... no, not about Obama's speech - but about what it might really take to "win" in Afghanistan, and about making courageous choices.

I'll start with courageous choices. This first bit quoted in The NY Reviw of Books review of The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War. Quoting George Kennan, during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding Vietnam:
"There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world by resolute and courageous liquidation of unsound positions than by the most stubborn pursuit of extravagant or unpromising objectives."
Wish Obama had taken the hint!

On current Afghanistan mess: From Talk of the Town section of recent New Yorker:
Would even forty thousand additional troops suffice for anything resembling the ambitious nation-building program that General Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander in Afghanistan, has proposed? (Counterinsurgency theory suggests that it would take moe than ten times that many...)
[emphasis added]
Recall PM's contribution to this discussion: even 400K troops might not be sufficient!

So, tell me again, Mr. President... what are we accomplishing with 30,000 more troops???

... OOPS! - I almost forgot: from Politico:
Cheney was asked if he thinks the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq. “I basically don’t,” he replied without elaborating.
[emphasis added]
I note that the article suggests the interviewer did NOT ATTEMPT to get the former Wyoming congressman to elaborate!

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