In the Arena

Today in Afghanistan

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Ahmed Rashid, the brilliant Pakistani journalist, has an excellent essay on the latest in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the latest New York Review of Books. There are a multitude of valuable insights–especially the attention Rashid pays to the Balochistan rebellion, potentially a greater threat to Pakistan’s continued existence than the Taliban.

But, given my post below about Republicans, there was one paragraph that leapt out:

US officials told me in April 2008 that President Bush had been warned by his military commanders that Afghanistan was going from bad to worse. More troops and money were needed; reconstruction was at a standstill; pressure had to be put on Pakistan; the elections in April 2009 should be indefinitely postponed. Bush ignored all the advice except for asking the Afghans to postpone the elections until August.

He left everything else to his successor to sort out.

Not much new there, but worth remembering…