Autor: Frederick W. Kagan
Yes, We Can
If you believe the headlines, Afghanistan is 'the graveyard of empires,' a 'quagmire' and a 'fiasco,' the place where President Barack Obama will meet his 'Vietnam.' In the media's imagination, the Taliban are on the march, and Kabul is on the verge of falling to a resurgent insurgency that already controls much of the countryside. Increasing numbers of voices, on both the left and the right, counsel that the war is unwinnable and that we need to radically 'downsize' our objectives in order to salvage something from a failing war effort lest we go the way of the Russians or British, previous conquerors who foundered in this merciless land of violence and fanaticism.
Planning Victory in Afghanistan
President Obama has said many times that America must succeed in Afghanistan. He is right, and he deserves our full support in that effort. Afghanistan is in many respects harder to understand than Iraq was. Even with a good strategy and sufficient resources, success will almost certainly come much more slowly. But as a great man said two years ago, hard is not hopeless.
The Basra Business. What we know and what we don't
Much of the discussion about recent Iraqi operations against illegal Shia militias has focused on issues about which we do not yet know enough to make sound judgments, overlooking important conclusions that are already clear.
Iraq's Benchmarks. Who's Moving the goalposts now?
As the reduction in violence in Iraq has become incontestable (the insistence of early critics that no such reduction was possible notwithstanding), war opponents have fallen back on their next line of defense--that the military progress has not been matched by the political progress it was supposed to enable.
The Patton of Counterinsurgency
Great commanders often come in pairs: Eisenhower and Patton, Grant and Sherman, Napoleon and Davout, Marlborough and Eugene, Caesar and Labienus. Generals David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno can now be added to the list.
What We've Accomplished. Nine months of progress
Senators Levin and Reid have introduced an amendment that would order the immediate withdrawal of American forces in Iraq--a stampede, in fact, that would require the military to pull 169,000 soldiers and their equipment out of active combat within nine months. There is no way that such a withdrawal would look like anything other than a rout and a humiliation for American arms.
The Right-Sized Army
The number of soldiers in the U.S. Army, both active and reserve, will continue to be a critical determinant of America's ability to win future wars and, above all, the peaces that follow them. The current force is far too small.
Al Qaeda In Iraq. How to understand it. How to defeat it
Al Qaeda In Iraq is part of the global al Qaeda movement. AQI, as the U.S. military calls it, is around 90 percent Iraqi. Foreign fighters, however, predominate in the leadership and among the suicide bombers, of whom they comprise up to 90 percent, U.S. commanders say. The leader of AQI is Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian. His predecessor, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was a Jordanian.
Progress in the Iraqi Security Forces. What the Jones Report really says
Some in the media have been remarkably quick to report on leaked copies of reports about Iraq before the average person has a chance to read them. There is a reason, apart from the usual journalistic desire to be first with a story. The reports often don't say what the reporters want them to.
What's Wrong with the GAO Report. Measuring failure--or the failures of measuring
At first glance--as those who leaked it last week saw--the Government Accountability Office's report on Iraq, released today, paints a dark view of progress and prospects in Iraq. Its subtitle offers the most attractive thesis to opponents of the current strategy: 'Iraqi Government Has Not Met Most Legislative, Security, and Economic Benchmarks.'
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