Not As Powerful As We Pretend

Rory Stewart continues to believe that the Afghanistan war is doomed:

The only way in which we could move beyond the counter-insurgency theory, or the hundred other theories which buttress and justify the Afghan war, is by rejecting their most basic underlying premises and objectives. Instead of trying to produce an alternative theory (on how to defeat the Taliban, create an effective, legitimate and stable Afghan state, stabilize Pakistan and ensure that al-Qaida could never again threaten the United States) we need to understand that however desirable such things might be, they are not things that we -- as foreigners -- can do.