It looks as if the Afghanistan and Pakistan situations are unfolding rapidly, and I haven't exactly had the chance to keep up as well as I would have liked to.
The big news is, of course, that the previous commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Lt. General David McKiernan is being replaced in favor of Lt. General Stanley McChrystal. One can only assume that this is a signal that the new administration is serious about a reversal of course in Afghanistan. This is sorely needed, particularly in light of the fact that during the last 11 months or so, we've seen the near-closure of supply lines through Pakistan after a number of ambushes by anti-NATO forces, a massive upsurge in Taliban activity, and displeasure even from Secretaty Gates over the number of civilians killed in airstrikes from unmanned aerial vehicles. (See, if Lt. Gen. McKiernan had just read this blog, he might still have a job)
Anyway, a few links of the morning which discuss the rapidly-changing situation in Afghanistan:
- Sic Semper Tyrannis has posted an article which gives an excellent summary of the strategic situation in Afghanistan, as well as recommended national aims. He also analyzes the various "enemy" factions we face in Afghanistan, and what their eventual aims are. SST, unlike Sen. McCain on Fox News, knows the difference between al Qaeda and the Taliban.
- It also never ceases to amaze me that our enemies have adapted by completely re-defining the nature of the conflict--something that they have, distressingly, been able to do much more quickly than Western forces. This is perfectly summed up in a press release from General David Petraeus, in which he states the obvious--that Pakistan, not Afghanistan, is al Qaeda's "unassailable base" (in the words of T.E. Lawrence) of operations.