When I was a kid, I remember hearing that cockroaches would not only survive the sure-to-happen US-Soviet nuclear holocaust, but actually emerge stronger than ever as they devour our irradiated corpses. Similarly, there’s a new think tank in town, headed by Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, and former Coalition Provisional Authority spokesguy Dan Senor. Senor’s inclusion is especially interesting, since neocons of the Kristol/Kagan ilk ostensibly now believe that the early years of the war were catastrophically mismanaged. And yet here they are with the public face of the mismanagement as their partner in warmongering.
On March 31, FPI holds its first public event, Afghanistan: Planning For Success, though, given the heavy representation of Iraq war advocates, I think a far better title would be Afghanistan: Dealing With The Huge Problems Created By Many Of The People On This Very Stage. The broad consensus among national security analysts and aid officials is that the diversion of troops and resources toward Iraq beginning in 2002 was one of the main reasons the Taliban and Al Qaeda were able to to re-establish themselves in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas, facilitating the collapse of the country back into insurgent warfare. Having failed to complete the mission in Afghanistan, Bush and the Iraq hawks handed the Obama administration a war that promises to be as difficult and costly as Iraq has been -– if not more. It’s deeply absurd that some of the people most responsible for the crisis in Afghanistan would now presume to tell us how to deal with it.
Incidentally, this is my most current thinking on the Afghanistan issue.