Here is one of the odder contributions to the Afghanistan debate, reposted in full due to the high profile of the author, to avoid misrepresenting the message, and the importance of the subject: “Back Off Jack Keane Wannabees“, Dave Dilegge, 11 August 2009 (hat tip to Zenpundit):
Okay, everyone who’s anyone – and many who think they’re someone – inside and outside the beltway – has chimed in – did I miss anyone? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
The Afghanistan affair is quite complicated; we know that, we also can study it to death and comment until the cows come home.
How about a novel approach at this particular point in time – give the Commander in Chief, the National Command Authority, State… and most importantly, the Commanding General and his staff in Afghanistan some efing breathing room to sort this out? The guys on the ground – get it?
How much is too much?
For the all the hype about the benefits of instantaneous global communications and Web 2.0 – of which we most certainly are a part – we’ve never really examined the tipping point – the place where we become part of the problem, rather than the solution. My two cents – and while it may come across as way, way too simplistic to many of the 2K-pound brainiacs I run into around town – you can take it to the bank that a general backing off of the noise level would be most beneficial right now.
Update: A reader e-mailed that not everyone will get my reference to General Jack Keane and suggested …just like Jack Keane became the insider for President Bush with the answer to Iraq in 2007 now everybody who is anybody today with regard to Astan want to play the role of a Jack Keane.
Comments are best posted at the Small Wars Journal site, not here (he asked for your thoughts). Since I’m banned from their site, these are my thoughts on it.
To start off with the obvious reply: This is a democracy, and waging war is one of our most important collective acts. Debate is necessary for the democratic process to work.
Nor is leaving the war to “the Commander in Chief, the National Command Authority, State” is not “novel”. It’s what we have done during the 8 years since Operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001. Greater citizen involvement is long overdue.
Also, the sad fact is that we have not done anything remotely like “study it to death”. In fact there has been little analysis of the war — in public — by people with deep knowledge of the region and its people. Lots by of geopolitical and military experts, but that’s not the same thing.
The debate has barely started. Its most salient characteristic so far is the extraordinary weakness of the pro-war arguments. That makes it an esp odd point for an appeal to let the folks at the top continue undisturbed with the war. In any case, such an appear is probably a waste of time. Support for the war is declining; no surprise after 8 years. Appeals to authority like this will not change that trend, not in America. The next post will discuss why this debate is so important — and so timely.
Some posts about the debate
- Exum: “Introducing the Afghanistan Strategy Dialogue” – This includes my submission.
- The first salvo in the Afghanistan Strategy Debate – An extraordinarily weak start for the pro-war side.
- Second salvo in the Afghanistan Strategy Debate — Bernard Finel
- The Afghanistan Strategy Dialogue: Day Three
- The Afghanistan Strategy Dialogue: Day Four
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Some posts about the war in Afghanistan:
- Why are we are fighting in Afghanistan?, 9 April 2008 — A debate with Joshua Foust.
- Stratfor: “The Strategic Debate Over Afghanistan”, 13 May 2009
- Real experts review a presentation about the War (look here, if you’re looking for well-written analysis!), 21 June 2009
- The Big Lie at work in Afghanistan – an open discussion, 23 June 2009
- “War without end”, a great article by George Wilson, 27 June 2009
- “Strategic Calculus and the Afghan War” by George Friedman of Stratfor, 17 July 2009
- Powerful insights about our war in Afghanistan, part 1, 18 July 2009
- We are warned about Afghanistan, but choose not to listen (part 2), 19 July 2009
- Powerful insights about our war in Afghanistan, part 3, 20 July 2009