nation building

Obama’s Afghanistan War Plan

President Obama released his Afghanistan war review today. It highlights progress on the battlefield against insurgents, the success of Special Forces operations and drone strikes, and achievements in training the Afghan security forces.

I have four thoughts on the matter:

Phantom Forces

Over at “The Skeptics” blog at The National Interest Online, I wrote a short piece detailing the abysmal state of the Afghan army and police – you know, the institutions that are supposed to take over responsibility for security and allow U.S. forces to being to come home?

Iraq: Making Few Friends and Less Profits

When the Bush administration started its misguided adventure in Iraq, the president and his Neocon chorus presumed that the U.S. would be acquiring a loyal, even obseqious ally.  With the American-subsidized bank embezzler Ahmed Chalabi in charge, Baghdad would create a Western-style democracy, enshrine women’s rights, recognize Israel, provide the U.S. with permanent military bases, and offer a new market for American businesses.

Why War in Afghanistan Is Futile

A couple weeks ago, my Cato colleague, Justin Logan, wrote a post on Rory Stewart’s brilliant article that appeared in the London Review of Books. Justin offered compelling reasons why arguments for nation building, and the concomitant “state failure is a threat to humanity,” are deeply flawed. But I think Stewart’s piece offers arguments that bears emphasis.

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