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Thursday linkage: Afghanistan edition

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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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13 August 2009 13:41


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

I'll respond to Jim Molan's recent Afghanistan post soon, but first I wanted to share some of the Afghanistan reading I've discovered in the blogosphere and media lately. This list is weighted toward the sceptical view of the Afghanistan operation that I support, though I did link to a couple of pro-war arguments on Tuesday, and there's an Anthony Cordesman article on this list too:

  • James Joyner at New Atlanticist has lots of links about the increasing scope of the Afghanistan mission, and the likelihood of further troop commitments.
  • The Washington Independent asks whether America's Afghanistan debate is changing.
  • Does defeating al Qaeda mean nation-building?
  • Anthony Cordesman, whose longer reports on Afghanistan you can read here, has an op-ed summing up the challenges and making recommendations for victory. He never gets around to saying why the mission is important.
  • Jari Lindholm disagrees with me and argues the coalition presence in Afghanstan has reduced the chances of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
  • The New York Times is asking tough questions about the merits of the Afghanistan mission.
  • Abu Muquwama, one of the most influential blogs in the counter-insurgency debate, wonders whether Andrew Bacevich, who recently wrote this, might have a point.
  • And finally, from a post by Foreign Policy's Marc Lynch, one of the most widely quoted passages of late in this debate:

Suppose the U.S. succeeded beyond all its wildest expectations, and turned Afghanistan into Nirvana on Earth, an orderly, high GDP nirvana with universal health care and a robust wireless network (and even suppose that it did this without the expense depriving Americans of the same things). So what? Al-Qaeda (or what we call al-Qaeda) could easily migrate to Somalia, to Yemen, deeper into Pakistan, into the Caucasus, into Africa --- into a near infinite potential pool of ungoverned or semi-governed spaces with potentially supportive environments. Are we to commit the United States to bringing effective governance and free wireless to the entire world? On whose budget?

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