I just participated in the most asinine interview ever on The Takeaway, so if you were unfortunate enough to have been listening, I apologize. (The very intelligent) Paul Hughes of USIP made a number of good points, but the show ended with the following exchange:
"So, Andrew, the takeaway is that Obama is fighting a war in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, right?"
"Well, yes, but political boundaries matter. From the perspective of Islamabad ---"
"Okay, that's all the time we have, thanks!" [Cut.]
What I would have said had they not left me with two seconds to parse the political realities of Central Asia is that the Durand Line does matter -- to both the government of Pakistan and to NATO/ISAF. General McChrystal's writ, for example, ends there, and he has to rely on others for coordination of operations in Pakistan. People need to understand that. But what's the war in Afghanistan when we have to leave enough time to discuss the oevre of John Hughes (RIP)?