Monday, January 04, 2010

Tales Of The Obtuse

The Weekly Standard's John Noonan might want to think about thinking out loud less:
[W]ould Obama have doubled-down in Afghanistan if Petraeus' Iraq pacification hadn't succeeded beyond expectation? Where would our Afghanistan strategy be if General Petraeus hadn't provided a perfect case-study for effective prosecution of a tough counter-insurgency?

Could Iraq have saved Afghanistan?

Yes, wouldn't be ironic if the triage strategy that was employed to contain the catastrophe created by the Iraq invasion was also employed in Afghanistan to contain the catastrophe created by the Iraq invasion?

The more appropriate question, at least for those interested in avoiding situations where massively costly counterinsurgency efforts are required to salvage incompetently managed wars, is: Where would our Afghanistan strategy be if we hadn't diverted U.S. attention, expertise, and resources from Afghanistan to Iraq in the first place? Would we even have to have one? Would we currently be preparing to triple the number of U.S. troops there in the space of a year?

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