David Kilcullen, among the best military strategists out there, lays it out:

Only a legitimately elected Afghan president can enact reforms, so at the very least we need to see a genuine run-off election or an emergency national council, called a loya jirga, before winter. Once a legitimate president emerges, we need to see immediate action from him on a publicly announced reform program, developed in consultation with Afghan society and enforced by international monitors.

[...]

If we see no genuine progress on such steps toward government responsibility, the United States should “Afghanize,” draw down troops and prepare to mitigate the inevitable humanitarian disaster that will come when the Kabul government falls to the Taliban which, in the absence of reform, it eventually and deservedly will.

Ackerman parses Kilcullen's and the Galbraith's articles.

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