Emphasis Added: The Foreign Policy Week in Fragments

Emphasis, as always, added. A “fundamental problem with COIN.” Where foreign forces go, violence follows. . . . a wave of “insider-attacks,” perpetrated by members of the Afghan security forces, has killed 60 coalition troops this year...

Coalition Forces Won’t Take Training Wheels Off Afghan Forces

“It is time for a change of mission in Afghanistan,” write Lieutenant General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), Dr. Andrew Exum, and Matthew Irvine in a policy brief for the Center for a New American Security. For those unfamiliar with CNAS, IPS Special Project...
Gen. Petraeus Makes McChrystal Look Like a Pacifist

Gen. Petraeus Makes McChrystal Look Like a Pacifist

(Pictured: Generals McChrystal and Petraeus.) A woman named Paula Broadwell, whose book about Gen. David Petraeus will be published shortly, touched some tender nerves with a couple of posts at Thomas Ricks’s Best Defense at Foreign Policy. Michael Cohen at...
Fireground Rules, Part 2: A Scheme is Not a Vision

Fireground Rules, Part 2: A Scheme is Not a Vision

(Pictured, wildfire reaches a main road in Ein Hod, Israel on December 4.) Someone asked me after an earlier FPIF post (Fireground Rules, Part 1) why I use so many firefighting analogies to explore foreign policy / security issues. The answer is simple. It was...

The Great Myth: Counterinsurgency

There are moments that define a war. Just such a one occurred on June 21, when Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry helicoptered into Marjah for a photo op with the locals. It was to be a capstone event, the fruit of a...