Carnegie Endowment's Strategic Coven unleashed a provocative preview of tactical choices to turn the tide in Afghanistan in a new trick called "Focus and Exit". "After seven years of war, the international community has failed to
create the conditions for a sustainable Afghan state. The reality is that the international coalition now has limited resources and a narrow political time frame to create lasting Afghan institutions.
"After seven years of war, the international community has failed to
Yet building such institutions is our only realistic exit strategy."
Nation building with combat boots on the ground en masse.
"The real question is how combat troops should be used. The two choices we face are whether to continue playing offense by going after the Taliban, especially in the south and the east, and spreading troops thin; or whether to adopt a new strategy focusing on protecting strategic sites, namely, urban centers and key roads, to allow for the development of a strong core of Afghan institutions."
This either or approach - may be incorrect.
RAND Corps recent report teaches that essentially - Afghanistan is about as good as it's going to get - unless Al Qaeda and their time traveling intolerant tribal fanboys are taken head on in their Pakistani sanctuaries.
Carnegie agrees -
"Withdrawal will allow the United States to focus on the central
security problem in the region: al-Qaeda and the instability in Pakistan."
The real quiz is - why not all three?
Since NATO's raison pour le wusse' - their scaredy cat actions in Afghani safe zones only - split DC on Inauguration Day, it may be an opportune moment to exert the current 'era of tingly feelings' - time for a laison de guerre and get Europa manned up and stand up and pull some nation building, infrastructure babysitting.
Great Satan's bona fided Surgin' General Petraeus and the Cent Com Surge in Afghanistan would no doubt be best served by elite combat troops - experienced in their deadly expertise - the best killers of killers in world history.
Plus, a healthy dose of eradicating poppy fields in extremis - or at least taking them over totally and ensuring their illicit, addictive, destructive and corruptive influence are channeled and directed only into autocratic regimes would be a wicked Joker to hold close to the vest and used as Strategic Resource Weaponry - like oil or energy.
Pic - "Afghanistan" by M. Felicity