June 19, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Rajiv Chandrasekaran has a long profile of our failed development efforts in Afghanistan in today's Washington Post. Worth your time. At some point -- and that point should have already arrived several years ago, honestly -- non-kinetic lines of operation will be the main effort in Afghanistan and combat operations will take a back seat in our efforts. The U.S. government, though, has really struggled to figure out what we should be doing in Afghanistan with respect to agricultural programs and other development projects.

I'll say this, though: it's all well and good for Richard Holbrooke to tell Rajiv Chandrasekaran that we're not going to conduct counter-poppy operations. But the last time I checked, Holbrooke has command of exactly zero battalions on the ground. And I am not sure we're all on the same page here with respect to what our priorities should be. So he better synch this with ISAF commanders first, because I am hearing different things from different people at the moment.