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  •  One thing to remember about Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
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    Pakistan. The "Afghan Surge" wasn't so much about Afghanistan as it was about Pakistan.

    Remember that about the time this surge started the Pakistani government was reeling from the Bhutto assassination and from Pakistani Taliban which were spreading from valley to valley. They peaked in their attempt to sake the Swat Valley area just north of the capital.

    It was only during the Swat incursion that the Pakistani government / military developed the resolve to directly combat the Taliban. The Pakistani Army engaged the Taliban and over a few months pushed them back to their original strongholds.

    If the USA had pulled out of Afghanistan at this moment the  odds are the weak Pakistani government would have cut a deal with the Taliban instead of fighting them.

    Why does the US hit the Taliban in Pakistan with drones? This is because the Pakistani government could not survive the embarrassment of USAF warplanes dropping bombs on Pakistani territory. So the new drones were used instead, because at first they only did recon missions. But ti did not take long to fit them with missiles, and here we are today.

    Where to our drones fly from to cover Pakistan? They fly from Afghanistan.

    Why all the fuss? Pakistan has 100-200 nuclear warheads in her arsenal.

    So right or wrong, the Afghanistan mission cannot be understood without including Pakistan into the calculus. I write this not trying to refute the diarist but instead to point out a key aspect that very often is overlooked in discussions regarding Afghanistan.

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