Second salvo in the Afghanistan Strategy Debate — Bernard Finel

I think this Today’s submission is by Bernard Finel (confired here).  (Exum does not include the author’s name, unlike the first post.)  It’s brilliant.  I have nothing to add, other than to say this is well worth reading.

The first “pro-war” submission was extraordinary weak — a mixture of legends, quixotic dreams, and hubris.  The first “anti-war” submission is the opposite — a mixture of facts and cool reasoning.  Eventually Exum will have to reply, which should be fascinating to read.  After the strategic foundations of the war have been so thoroughly demolished, talking about tactics will seem somewhat pointless.

The post at Abu Muqawama is a sliver of the broader picture he paints in “The Incoherence of COIN Advocates: Andrew Exum Edition“, Bernard Finel, The Flash Point blog at the American Security Project, 4 August 2009.

About the author

From his bio at the America Security Project website.  Finel also blogs at his own website.

Dr. Bernard I. Finel is a Senior Fellow at the American Security Project (ASP) where he directs research on counter-terrorism and defense policy  He is the lead author of ASP’s annual report, “Are We Winning?  Measuring Progress in the Struggle against Violent Jihadism.”

Prior to joining ASP, Dr. Finel was a professor of military strategy and operations at the U.S. National War College from 2004 to 2006.  From 1994 to 2004, he held various positions at Georgetown University, most notably as Executive Director of the Security Studies Program and Center for Peace and Security Studies from 2001 to 2004.  He was also on the visiting faculty of the School of Foreign Service and a member of the core faculty of the M.A. Program in Security Studies. 

Dr. Finel has published widely on international politics and security.  He is co-author and co-editor of two books.  Power and Conflict in the Age of Transparency (2000) was one of the first volumes to systematically examine the influence of increasing international transparency on international security.  Ultimate Security: Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (2003) highlighted the challenges to the non-proliferation regime and stressed the ineffectiveness of the U.S. government’s response to the issue.  His research has been published in the journals Security Studies, International Security, Aerospace Power Journal, International Studies Quarterly, National Security Studies Quarterly, and World Affairs.

Dr. Finel is a frequent media commentator on international developments. Dr. Finel received his B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University.

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