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Afghanistan: Time to belt up?

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This post is part of the Afghanistan debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

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6 August 2009 09:35


This post is part of the Afghanistan debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

The Afghanistan debate between Jim Molan, myself and others (click on the 'read more in this debate' button above to see the whole thread) has drawn heavily on a London Review of Books article by Rory Stewart.

Just to reinforce a point I made in one post about distinguishing between the 'how' and the 'why' of Afghanistan policy, I can't resist quoting Stewart again, this time from an interview with the Financial Times (h/t Drum):

“I do a lot of work with policymakers, but how much effect am I having?” he asks, pronging a mussel out of its shell.

“It’s like they’re coming in and saying to you, ‘I’m going to drive my car off a cliff. Should I or should I not wear a seatbelt?’ And you say, ‘I don’t think you should drive your car off the cliff.’ And they say, ‘No, no, that bit’s already been decided – the question is whether to wear a seatbelt.’ And you say, ‘Well, you might as well wear a seatbelt.’ And then they say, ‘We’ve consulted with policy expert Rory Stewart and he says ...’”

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