Too Late, Too Late
Fallows notes an Australian assessment of the McChrystal report. Paul McGeogh sees the report as proof that McChrystal's proposed strategy is doomed. Money quote:
"In assessing the insurgency, McChrystal declares it, or them, to be sophisticated, organised, adaptive, determined and nuanced across all lines of operations ... with, he goes on, the capacity to exhaust the coalition and to prevent Kabul from governing the country. Much of his report leads to a conclusion that it is the very opposite that applies to Karzai and the Coalition's operations... Right now, I'm frightened for Afghanistan - I read McChrystal and I look back over 20 or more assignments in the country since just before 9/11 and my fear is that he has missed the boat.
"The Taliban is stronger, more violent and more in control than at any time since it was dislodged from Kabul in 2001. Foreign forces, mostly American, are dying at a greater rate and hundreds of billions of dollars are being squandered for no apparent return. Public and political support for the war has peaked and now is declining in the U.S. and in other coalition countries. As Hamid Karzai continues to demonstrate with his election fraud and his response to its exposure - the Kabul Government is rotten from the top....
"McChrystal, I fear, has arrived too late - for Afghanistan and for Washington... The general wants a blank cheque for a jalopy on which he offers no warranty."
What Bush and Cheney threw away Obama cannot recapture. Knowing what cannot be done is the first rule of conservative statesmanship. Here's hoping Obama is more conservative than Bush and Cheney.