A few months ago, LTG (Ret.) Dave Barno and I sat down to try and figure out how the U.S. military and its NATO allies might transition from a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan to something less resource-intensive between July 2011, when the president envisions U.S. troops beginning a withdrawal, and 2014, when Hamid Karzai wants the government of Afghanistan to have full sovereignty over its territory. The result of our thinking is a new report that will be released this week [update: read it here] and formally rolled out next week in an event at the Newseum moderated by Bob Woodward. The purpose of this post is to get you all to sign up for the event, which you can do by following the link. (Act now: we already have 300+ RSVPs.)
I am actually in Afghanistan myself at the moment, traveling around the country speaking with U.S. and allied military officers, Afghan politicians and military officers, locally based journalists, civilian researchers, NGO representatives, and many others. (As usual, plenty of people on my travels thus far have stopped me to introduce themselves and say how much they enjoy this blog, which is humbling and appreciated.) I am scheduled to arrive back in the United States about eight hours before the event, so my beard will be long, my hair unkempt, and my observations fresh. Please join us.
[For those who will not be able to make the event, I will write several long blog posts on my observations here between now and Christmas.]