Today marks the release of the final video in the “It’s the Tribes, Stupid” series. Believe me, I’m aware of the presumption of titling any discourse, “How to Win in Afghanistan. ” Even Alexander the Great would balk at treading that ground. So, as I say in the video, the thoughts therein are offered not with presumption but, as Rod Serling used to say on the old Twilight Zone show, “submitted for your approval.” That said, I’d like to stick a toe into those waters by touching on a recent (last week) excellent white paper from the Center for a…Read More
I blew it on Wednesday, posting this extremely interesting article by David Ronfeldt of the Rand Corporation so late in the day that it was only “onscreen” for a few hours before being shuffled downpage into the archives. So here’s a re-post that I’ll leave up in the featured position all weekend. The piece ran originally as an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on December 12, 2004. It’s terrific. On Monday I want to share a brand-new (June ’09) White Paper from the Center For A New American Security titled, “Triage: The Next Twelve Months in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”…Read More
Below is a terrific mini-bibliography from guest blogger Jeremy Ward that takes us back to the genesis of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. In 2001, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, an extremely lean contingent of American forces–mostly CIA, SF and other special operators and intelligence specialists, backed up by U.S. air power–made their way into the country and hooked up with the indigenous forces that became known as the Northern Alliance. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? The object was to destroy the Taliban as payback for their harboring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and permitting him to…Read More
The following is an op-ed piece by David Ronfeldt, a senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation. I’m a big fan of his work and will be citing more of it here in the future. Mr. Ronfeldt has given permission to reprint this article in its entirety. Thanks, David! 21st Century TribesRead More
Yesterday we talked about the idea that the real enemy in AfPak today is not militant Islam or jihadism or terrorism. It’s tribalism and the tribal mindset. Now: how did this thesis evolve? What’s the source? Upon what authority do I put this idea forward?Read More
I’m posting the first two of five video op-ed pieces on the subject of Afghanistan, U.S. troop involvement, and the nature of the enemy. #3 will be posted on Wednesday, #4 on Friday. #5 will wrap it up next Monday. Why am I doing this? Not for money. I’ve got no book coming out, no tour, nothing. I just want this information to get out there. We did these videos—I and a group of smart and dedicated young filmmakers—just as concerned citizens, the way one might write an op-ed piece and submit it to a newspaper.Read More
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