Afghan War Toolkit

Lots going on with this offering.  A host of articles and attachments that provide insight, advice, and analysis of the Afghan War.  I especially like “An Alternative Approach” from the Small Wars Journal, it is fresh, out-of-the-box thinking and yet not all that terribly new (1st Attachment with link near the bottom).

In the 1990s, Neocons had supported just such an effort in Iraq.  The idea was to invade the oil-producing South only, set up a functioning, free-market democracy, and allow the region to prosper with oil wealth, capitalism, and the free market.  The trick was to defend against Hussein’s incursions, but the shining example of an economically successful Southern Iraq would bleed Saddam to poverty and result in a brain drain of his best and brightest.

I believe the same type of scenario would be successful not only in Afghanistan just as the author suggests.  It could also be a model for Iran as well.  Again, capture the oil-producing region near the Arabian Gulf only, secure and defend it from Iranian armed forces, and set up a prosperous “shop.”  The key is to offer an alternative form of governance while at the same time economically bleeding the enemy (Saddam and the Iranian mullahs).

Other articles discuss in depth what’s happening here in Helmand (Institute for the Study of War), very long and detailed analysis (with short summary below).  In addition, Clare Lopez turned me onto Andrew McCarthy’s criticism of McChrystal’s new strategy in “What is Victory?”  Finally, an article from Max Boot on “How We Can Win in Afghanistan” from Commentary Magazine November issue, supporting McChrystal’s plan.

The debate is lively, and there are a host of experts that take differing views.  Clearly, this is a very, very complex war with no easy answers it seems. 

Like they say on Fox:  “We Report, You Decide.”

An Alternative Approach

Securing Helmand

Afghanistan Maps:


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