Eight Years Ain’t Bad

I see that Tom Friedman has come around to the position on Afghanistan I’ve held since late in 2001:

We should limit our presence and goals in Afghanistan to the bare minimum required to make sure that turmoil there doesn’t spill over into Pakistan or allow Al Qaeda to return.

8+ years ain’t bad for arriving at an obvious conclusion. It does make me wonder whether I should start reconsidering my position, though.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Tano says:

    But what does this mean?
    The limited engagement we maintained during the Bush Admin. was not sufficient to prevent turmoil in NW Pakistan, and it allowed the Taliban to become resurgent. Its seems likely that al-Q, well ensconced in Pakistan, would follow the Taliban back into Afghanistan.
    So if that was too little engagement, and the present engagement is too much, then what exactly are you advocating?

  2. Brett says:

    I’m not sure what Friedman means, either. Remember that we need active supply lines through Pakistan and the surrounding countries just to keep any force there, and with only a small force we’d have to deal with large parts of the country being wholly unsafe for American troops to travel through. On top of that, It will be rather hard to get intelligence if possible informants think we’re just going to leave them hanging in the near future, and it is intelligence that we need if you want to actually locate targets in the FATA.