“the United States can stabilize Afghanistan if it maintains around 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan into 2014, dropping to over 30,000 thereafter … the idea that the war is inevitably lost is a convenient mask behind which decision makers hide to deflect responsibility for pulling out troops who are making a real difference. We have argued that the current defeatism about Afghanistan is overdrawn and unfounded … .” We cannot “abandon the fight against al-Qaeda and its allies in South Asia.”
So why maintain the equivalent of two U.S. Army divisions in an unstable country where the local populace is far from friendly just to “fight against” a threat that approaches insignificance. Obviously there is no reason to do so.
that Iraq should continue to be one unified state;that there should be no al-Qaeda on its soil;that Baghdad abides by its international responsibilities;that Iraq should contain Iran;and that the al-Maliki government should accept US “commitment” to the region.
Then, as now, the US was clearly “committed” to the region through the presence of its armed forces and one should add parenthetically that Iraq in no way threatened the United States, or anyone else.
“Great commanders often come in pairs: Eisenhower and Patton, Grant and Sherman, Napoleon and Davout, Marlborough and Eugene, Caesar and Labienus. Generals David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno can now be added to the list.”