...commenting on recent political developments regarding ... Afghanistan.
If the West can live with one nuclear Islamist state (Iran), surely it can live with two (a Talibanised Pakistan). Thus there is no need to keep spending blood and treasure in Afghanistan.
I think this is the forming establishment paradigm, we shall see how successful it turns out to be! The West will probably muddle through but various democratic fellow travellers starting with the letter 'I' which are closer to the action may have a less comfortable time of it.
What got me thinking about AfPak was the linear political argument regarding the risk differential between a continuing surge (without explicit timeframe bounds) and an Exit strategy timetable.
My considered view is that we have got to look more at how the blood and treasure is being spent, the effects at the grass roots, and ignore the strategic outcomes for the moment to concentrate on value to the civilian population.
I, for one, think that if the time in Afghanistan's history this current heavy international involvement is seen by the future civilian population as "the good times" that is still a worthy achievement regardless of strategic outcome.
Veterans of Iraq and other global nation building will do better at this than the rough and ready gung-ho soldier of old. My opinion is that we should err on the side of longer deployments of the best possible people and avoid sending in inexperienced platoons just to make up the numbers.