Joe Klein weighs in:
McKiernan's caution may have been the right impulse. Here is the basic problem: unlike Iraq, where tribal Awakening Councils were stood up to fight the Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terrorists--who were mostly foreign imports--the local militias in Afghanistan are being asked to fight their own Pashtun brothers, the Taliban. When I was in Afghanistan last month, a Pashtun from Wardak warned Richard Holbrooke and Admiral Mike Mullen that many of the people signing up for the local militia were from the Hazara minority. "It won't work," the man said. "The Pashtun see this as not our government."