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« End the Prohibition Era approach on drugs | Main | Chart of the Day: South-south trade defines Africa's rise »
6:00AM

Time's Battleland: "Kissinger on the sad strategic reality of US engagement in Afghanistan"

Henry Kissinger had a sobering op-ed in the Washington Post Tuesday that laid out the reality of the US position in Afghanistan.

First, the fundamental conundrum of "nation building" in a fake state:

But nation-building ran up against the irony that the Afghan nation comes into being primarily in opposition to occupying forces. When foreign forces are withdrawn, Afghan politics revert to a contest over territory and population by various essentially tribal groups.

He then goes on to say he supported the surge engineered by President Obama, an effort that had the unfortunate effect of giving lie to the notion that insufficient resources was the primary reason why nation-building has failed. That effort, he states, has "reached its limit."

So the essential question becomes, according to Kissinger, How to create an regional security structure to oversee that "contest" cited above?

Read the entire post at Time's Battleland.

Reader Comments (3)

Coupling this story with what Gates had to say about the limited capabilities of NATO gives me the impression that through our need to control everything and enable everyone, we have disincentivized the creation of a good enough team of allies. We are the superstar that insists on taking the ball up the court, calling each play for themselves, taking each shot, getting every rebound, getting all the glory in the press and then complaining about the lack of support or concern by other team members when we lose.

June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Jennings

Kissinger joins the earlier insight folks like Marco Polo and Rudyard Kipling. In our own time Charley Wilson accepted the need to back away from this distorted fake nation after his 'war' with Russian colonialists succeeded. The lessons are 1000s of years old. Check the Khan file cabinet.

June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Heberlein

Henry K. An eerie connection to the old quagmire. He is right. The Afghans have been marrying their cousins for 2,000 years. They will fight and die for a cold, rock strewn scrap of land. We, of the cul de sac and the mall do not understand them. We are the wanderers, moving from city to city and talking to our parents and siblings on the phone. We don't have 200 cousins within a days donkey ride.

I say get out. Wait. See what happens when they are left without "invaders" to fight. They may just go back to fighting among themselves. To be a danger to us they need to come together...bunch up, if you will. We can handle that.

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor

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