January 04, 2010

The Most Important Thing You'll Read on Afghanistan This Month

This summer, as Gen. McChrystal took command in Afghanistan, it became clear to both him and his intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Mike Flynn, that the way we gather and process intelligence in Afghanistan was broken. Yesterday, Maj. Gen. Flynn issued a new directive to all intelligence officers and their commanders in Afghanistan outlining a new way forward. He asked the gang at the Center for a New American Security to simultaneously publish a copy for public consumption, and after running the paper through an internal and external review process, we did so today. You can and should read it here. Matt Pottinger, once a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in China and now considered one of the best young intelligence officers in the Marine Corps, was one of the co-authors of this text, and it makes for entertaining if somewhat depressing reading. After eight years in Afghanistan, we really are starting near zero in our efforts to understand the environment.

Seriously, if you have any interest in the war in Afghanistan, read this tonight.