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Afghanistan explained. Amazing review by Dexter Filkins that sums it all up.

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LuckyLib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:14 PM
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Afghanistan explained. Amazing review by Dexter Filkins that sums it all up.
Filkins reviews Bing West's new book, and in the process summarizes the whole mess in a nutshell.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/books/review/Filkins-...


<snip> The Wrong War amounts to a crushing and seemingly irrefutable critique of the American plan in Afghanistan. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand why the war there is so hard.

<snip> At the militarys urging, President Obama has become a convert, ordering thousands of extra young men and women to that country, in the hopes of saving an endeavor that was beginning to look doomed. No one in the Obama administration uses the phrase nation-building, but that is, of course, precisely what they are trying to do or some lesser version of it. Protect the Afghan people, build schools and hold elections. And the insurgents will wither away.

<snip> His basic argument can be summed up like this: American soldiers and Marines are very good at counterinsurgency, and they are breaking their hearts, and losing their lives, doing it so hard. But the central premise of counterinsurgency doctrine holds that if the Americans sacrifice on behalf of the Afghan government, then the Afghan people will risk their lives for that same government in return. They will fight the Taliban, finger the informants hiding among them and transform themselves into authentic leaders who spurn death and temptation.

<snip> This isnt happening. What we have created instead, West shows, is a vast culture of dependency: Americans are fighting and dying, while the Afghans by and large stand by and do nothing to help them.

<snip> Nine years of training and investment have created an Afghan Army fraught with the same corruption and lack of cohesion as the rest of the country. As it is, the Americans are now pouring more resources into the Afghan security forces than ever before. At best, the Afghans are years away from taking over the bulk of the fighting. And even that is a very fragile hope.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:24 PM
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1. I went to school with Dexter.
Cocoa Beach HS. He was obviously a bright guy, but it's cool to see him turn out to be a brilliant guy. I always enjoy his reporting. Seems like one of the last ones left doing serious work.
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