writes cleverly about what we should be doing in Afghanistan via counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen via the departed Bush Administration.
As I mentioned the other day, there's a political and a security situation happening at the same time. Kilcullen argues that adding a "large scale escalation now
" -- as Obama advocated as a candidate -- would be "the height of folly
." Uncertainty requires patience. Use the 17,000 extra already-approved troops now and wait until the presidential election in August.
Kilcullen, by the way, is the guy that said back in 2003 that President Bush's invasion of Iraq was "an extremely serious stategic error
." US military power creates "a backlash that fuels more violence
," and thus the title of his new book, "The Accidental Guerilla
I don't disagree. I supported Bush throughout his presidency because I believed he was doing courageous things to protect America and in promoting democracy and peace around the world. I still think Bush did things the best way he could and with the tools he had at his disposal, but had we done some things a bit differently... Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. It's easy to criticize now.
Anyway, look at how Kilcullen describes things. [And, remember, to their great credit, the Bush people brought Kilcullen in as a trusted advisor to advise McCain and Obama.] Radicalization happens in four stages:"Infection," establishing a presence."Contagion," using territory as a beachead."Intervention," by invading forces."Rejection," as the natives protect against foreign forces.
This is what we saw in Iraq early on. Let's hope that Obama, now that he's President, listens to this guy. Kilcullen is said to be advising BO that negotiating with these 'accidental guerillas
' and getting them out of the action is the best way to proceed. We chase down the real bad guys and prevent them from infecting the local populous.'
Make a lot of sense, doesn't it?