Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bing West, Marine combat veteran and assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, looks at the conflict in Afghanistan, and explains what he sees as a practical way out. The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan, gives an account of events on the battlefield and argues that idealistic theories about counterinsurgency have bogged us down for a decade. He builds the case for changing course.


Bing West
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Comments [8]

To: C.Woods from Brooklyn

Well said!

Mar. 24 2011 12:44 PM

It is quite understandable that Afghani citizens would not want to play in the 'park' created by the U.S. military.

Obviously the lives of the Afghanistan people were challening before the U.S. invaded it, but imagine military coming into your neighborhood, territorializing your space, establishing constant surveillance, etc..

Justifying U.S. interests above that of the Afghani people is a sad imperialist mindset that continues to dictate the actions of the U.S. military regime. Time and again, I find this disappointing and disheartening.

Mar. 24 2011 12:42 PM
Michael A. Flood from Billyburg

Death Blossom;
The Last Starfighter

Mar. 24 2011 12:39 PM
C. Woods from Brooklyn

I can.t imagine why indigenous Hill Tribes who have been in their village for centuries would be ambivalent about the U.S. coming in and paving their roads... without asking permission, or even if wondering there was a problem with the roads they had been using for generations. (I'm being sarcastic.) Americans have a natural instinct to do good??? More like Americans have a natural instinct for attempting to assimilate indigenous cultures to our own way of life, even if it has no practical application to that culture, and wondering why those uncivilized people are being so ungrateful.

Mar. 24 2011 12:36 PM
Amy from Manhattan

But are the Afghans who don't want Taliban rule in any position to stand up against them? How much can the US do to make sure they are?

Mar. 24 2011 12:35 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The question about applying the experience of Vietnam is whether it applies to Afghanistan. We hear about "fighting the last war"; taking the approach used in Vietnam would be more like fighting the 5th-to-last war.

Mar. 24 2011 12:20 PM
Peter from Central Jersey

What is your guests opinion of the military becoming very religious over the years and how that possibly interferes with their mission?

Mar. 24 2011 12:19 PM
Dallas from NYC

The 9/11 terrorists were never in power in Kabul. And the people in Kabul (the taliban) we removed from power. Never attacked America. Not defending the taliban in anyway, just pointing out your guest's inaccuracy.

Mar. 24 2011 12:15 PM

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