Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Taliban attack and a hollow U.S. strategy
I think it has been insufficiently appreciated just how thoroughly the Taliban attack in downtown Kabul earlier this week exposes the hollowness of what passes for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. (I suspect I'll make that the subject of a columns for Antiwar.com). The McChrystal counterinsurgency strategy outlined in the memo Woodward acquired last September was to focus on keeping the civilian population safe and gradually expand the area of safety while training more Afghan security forces, who would eventually take over the security assignment, as this Register editorial explains. The attack in Kabul makes a mockery -- almost certainly intentionally, as it was reasonably sophisticated and well-planned -- of the strategy, so it was successful from a terrorist or guerrilla perspective. It showed the civilian population in the capital city is vulnerable despite (because of?) the U.S. presence.