Obama's Afghanistan Strategy? Simple.

by
Craig Brown

Richard Engel of MSNBC reports:

It sounds simple. But an attempt to visualize the strategy reveals how immensely complicated it is for U.S. forces to accomplish.

Below is the military's schematic, a map of the counter insurgency strategy, that shows what U.S. troops hope to accomplish in Afghanistan.

 

 

The slide is undoubtedly overwhelming. For some military commanders, the slide is genius, an attempt to show how all things in war - from media bias to ethnic/tribal rivalries - are interconnected and must be taken into consideration. It represents a new approach to war fighting, looking beyond simply killing enemy fighters. It underscores what those fighting wars have long known, that everything matters.

But for others, the diagram represents a fool's errand that the United States has taken on in the name of national security.

Detractors say the slide represents an assault on logic, an attempt to jam a square peg into a round hole. They say the concept of occupying a foreign nation to protect security at home is expensive, time consuming, ineffective and ultimately leads to the "spaghetti logic" of the slide. They say this slide is what happens when smart people are asked to come up with a solution to the wrong question.

Support the war or oppose it, back the surge or think it is digging a deeper hole for the United States, visualizing the counterinsurgency strategy appears to reveal one basic fact: success in Afghanistan will not be easy.

We know things are bad. We know it's worth the fight.

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