September 03, 2009

Today's essential Afghan reading

Stephen Grey, "Cracking on in Helmand," in the Prospect:

As seen from London or Washington, the story of Helmand was more often of commanders who pushed soldiers into harmís way, sent back endlessly optimistic reports, and extended the conflict beyond the resources and political will available back home. Their complaint has merit...

See also Foust.

Also, FRI on the assassination of the NDS deputy. Not a good day: this is going to have a paralysing effect on a lot of pro-Government Afghans. If you can get this guy, you can get anybody. Further musings follow:

There are no easy answers in Afghanistan. Gen McChrystal is coming out with an assessment which says he doesnít need a lot of troops he needs troops who can live off the FOBís, eat kabobís and rice and live with the Afghans. Modern western armies are not organized to provide these kinds of people and modern western democracies wonít support that kind of nonsense anyway... So what to do? I have not a clue but Iíll say this; I would not want to be anywhere else Ė this place is about to get very interesting.

I know how he feels. You can leave Afghanistan, but it's hard for Afghanistan to leave you.

Posted by BruceR at 09:24 AM