October 23, 2009

Afghanistan, Big and Small

Thom is probably right that the broad support a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan enjoys among NATO defense ministers adds a little pressure on the president and his advisors. (Who, if you ask me to speculate, are probably very wisely using this moment of uncertainty over a continued U.S. role to put pressure on Afghanistan's civlilian leadership.)

But I want to highlight, for a moment, some very good work on Afghanistan being directed by a man who does not support the idea of a broader counterinsurgency strategy. Rory Stewart, Tyler Moselle and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard are doing some serious work on Afghanistan policy, and this lecture by Michael Semple on what a good political officer needs to know about Helmand is well worth your time. (h/t GoA) I do not know who the political advisor is for Helmand Province, but the political advisor for the Marines there is a legend in the State Department and exactly the right person for the job.

I, meanwhile, am off to Tennessee to celebrate Mama Muqawama's 60th birthday, so posting will be light this weekend.