Sherwood Ross: By now substantial majorities the American public, like their European cousins, want all their troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet their elected officials betray the sound instincts of their citizenry.
Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.
Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.
President Obama’s announcement that C.I.A. director and longtime Washington insider Leon Panetta will become Secretary of Defense, replacing Robert Gates, and that General David Petraeus will take Mr. Panetta’s job at the C.I.A. reflects the type of appointments that could have been made had John McCain won the 2008 election. Obama’s commitment to business as […]
Ivan Eland: If it weren’t for the latest salacious bureau-gossip, the book would be rather boring—and tragic. Boring, not because the issues are uninteresting or because Woodward is a bad writer, but because the author records a dysfunctional White House internal decision-making process in which meeting after meeting features the same reasonable questions about the U.S. war in Afghanistan but in which nobody ever has very good answers to them.
Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.