When the Fourth Estate Fails

Reading the article by Eric Schmitt that ran in last Sunday’s New York Times under the headline, “Lull in Strikes by U.S. Drones Aids Militants in Pakistan,” one gets a sense of just how much unipolar imperialism has become embedded in mainstream American culture. If nothing else, the just over 1,200 word piece demonstrates why…

The Dead

It’s really weird to me that people were celebrating in the streets, even if the death of a mass-murderer is welcome enough news. We should be demanding an end to the wars now that the avatar of Islamic terror has been killed. We should be lamenting our loss of liberties. These will not return with…

War Is Politics By Other Means

Scott’s recent post on President Obama’s decision re: Afghanistan is worth the read.  He makes a number of very interesting points, but I’m not quite sure I get this part. Scott quotes the following from Kevin Drum: There are two possible reasons for the speech being so unconvincing: either Obama doesn’t know how to deliver…

Reviewing Obama’s War Part III: Rory Stewart

Part I here, Part II here. The Obama administration has proposed a very, very narrow objective, which is counterterrorism, and a very maximalist, broad definition of how to achieve it, which extends to counterinsurgency and the defeat of the Taliban, and basically the fixing of the entire Afghan state. And the whole problem with this…

Agnosia Afghanistania

From Washington Post piece on the continued discussion around the McChyrstal’s strategic troop increase request: But White House officials are resisting McChrystal’s call for urgency, which he underscored Thursday during a speech in London, and questioning important elements of his assessment, which calls for a vast expansion of an increasingly unpopular war. One senior administration…

The Pakistan is on the Brink Meme

Unfortunately the Obama administration has been falling for this one, putting pressure on the weak civilian government to initiate a massive heavy campaign in the Swat valley, leaving up to a million and a half (you read that correctly) refugees. One of the chief counsels on this topic to the administration comes from Bruce Riedel…

Winning the War Fought in the Wrong Location (While Still Losing the Peace)

Freddie thinks that those (like Reihan) who are nervous about new so-called modest (or lowered) expectations should be.  Br. F-reddie also raises an question of feasibility of non-lowered expectations given Afghan history.  (Also check out ED’s important comment regarding the volatility of democracy in societies without rule of law, culture of transparency, less black market…