Bing West

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In February, the Taliban sanctuary of Marja in southern Afghanistan was attacked in the largest operation of the war. Last week, President Obama flew to Afghanistan and declared, “Our troops have pushed the Taliban out of their stronghold in Marja .... The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something.”

But what is that “something”? And, equally important, does Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, have to be a part of it?

The United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, was guilty of understatement last fall when he told Washington that “Karzai is not an adequate strategic partner.” Still, getting rid of Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

While waiting to see if the Iraq surge strategy pays off, President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have shown Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the door and brought in Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute as the new White House “war czar.” Well, they can shift senior leadership all they want, but unless they give our troops patrolling the streets the tools they need, our leaders are going to see this strategy fizzle.

Part of the problem was that when the military surge was announced, it became commonplace for officials to assert that political compromise, not military force, would determine the outcome of the war.…  Seguir leyendo »