Dexter Filkins is a good example - after dissing the Iraq war and proclaiming that the Iraq Surge was totally incorrect in "Forever War" , Dex takes his 0 - 2 insight into the freshly christened "AfPak Surge.
Essentially, AfPak is a no win scenerio. After all, rowdy tribal cats defanged mighty mighty Collectivist Time Russia and took the 'pie' right out of "British Empire".
Only warmongering doofuses, bloodthirsty neocons and an unhealthy, unsubstansiated fear of of mythical terrorists, intolerants and creepy time traveling loser loving martyr seeking girl fearing Talibanistic super troopers would insist on keeping the fight alive and indulging in something so incorrect and flat out counter productive as an 'AfPak Surge"
Thankfully a double dose of Kaganite is out there too.
Dr Kimberly Kagan of the Institiute for the Study of War, her super smart other half Dr Frederick Kagan - the cat who invented the original Surge and the ever crunk Max Boot (love that name!) inject some much needed steel into spineless spines.
"No one in Afghanistan — from the American commander, Gen. David McKiernan, to those village elders — underestimates the difficulties that lie ahead.
But no one we spoke to on an eight-day journey (arranged for us by Gen. David Petraeus, the head of the military’s Central Command) that took us from Kunar Province on the Pakistan border to Farah Province near the Iranian frontier doubted that we can succeed, or that we must do so."Frederick, Kimberly and Max point out some of the problems are self inflicted and can be easily remedied
"Efforts to develop a countrywide strategy will no doubt be hampered by the confused and often counterproductive NATO command structure. A big part of the problem is that, unlike American headquarters staff members who train together for a year before deploying into a combat zone, NATO staff members from many nations come together for the first time just a few weeks before heading out to Afghanistan.
And most of them rotate out after six months; a lack of continuity means a lack of cohesion. A NATO officer even admitted to us that his headquarters is “partially dysfunctional.”
"There is no question that we can succeed against these much weaker foes, notwithstanding the support they receive from Pakistan and to a lesser extent Iran. President Obama’s recent decision to send 17,000 additional troops is a good start. While increased security operations will result in a temporary increase in casualties, that spike should be followed by broad reductions in violence, just as with the Iraq surge.
"There are many who claim that a large-scale commitment isn’t necessary. Some say we have no interest in making Afghanistan a functioning state — all that matters is preventing Al Qaeda from re-establishing safe havens, and we can do that by killing terrorist leaders with precision air strikes or covert raids.
"The key question for those who advocate pulling back is this: Where will we get the intelligence to direct the raids? If we have few troops on the ground, we will have to rely on intercepted communications. But seven years into the fight, the terrorists have learned a thing or two about keeping their communications secret. The only way to get the intelligence we need is from the residents, and they won’t provide it unless our troops stay in their villages to provide protection from Taliban retribution.
"This struggle is not just about Afghanistan. It is also about tracking and effecting what is going on in Pakistan’s tribal areas. That is where the global Qaeda leadership is. It is the nexus of terrorist groups including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is implicated in the Mumbai, India, attacks last November; the Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi, which now has control of the Swat region in Pakistan; and Baitullah Mehsud’s Pakistani Taliban, which are said to have plotted the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister.
"From their positions across the border in Afghanistan, American forces can literally see these areas. They can also gather invaluable intelligence from, and spread our influence to, the tribes that straddle the frontier. But we get that vantage point only as long as we have something to offer the Afghans — security, improved quality of life, hope for a better government.
"If we abandon them, we will become blind to one of the most dangerous threats to our security, and also hand our most determined enemies an enormous propaganda victory — their biggest since 9/11.
"Make no mistake: there is hard, costly fighting ahead in Afghanistan.
"But the fight is worth pursuing, and the odds of success are much better than they were in Iraq when we launched the forlorn hope known as the surge. "