Tuesday, December 1, 2009
"While the Army struggles to train top-performing officers as strategists, the institution remains trapped in an operational culture. ... When the Pentagon stages a 'strategic review,' it's just a game of musical chairs for defense contractors. ... Afghanistan's no more than a big patch of worthless dirt, but we're obsessed with controlling terrain. Our true enemies, the terrorists of al-Qadia, aren't even in Afghanistan anymore--they were merely transient tenants of a terrorist motel. ... Meanwhile, extremists tear apart neighboring Pakistan, a state with nuclear weapons and five times Afghanistan's population. ... Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorist attacks against India, relying on us to prevent New Delhi from retaliating. In effect, we're protecting terrorists. But what if we reduced our commitment in Afghanistan, concentrated strictly on destroying our enemies (rather than on nation-building where no nation exists), and told Pakistan it was on its own. Without us to protect it from India, Pakistan would have to behave responsibly at last--or face a nuclear was it would lose catatrophically. ... But Afghanistan is the black hole of black holes, consuming forces, energy and wealth for a trivial return. ... Washington consistenly chooses expedience over long-term advantage. The greatest power in history no longer even knows what strategy is", my emphasis, Ralph Peters at Armchair General, November 2009.