Will there be an Afghan Awakening?

So the Charge of the 60 (1 decided to pull out at the last minute; a good thing really, for him) has been sent over the Hill for some time now, and I’m using the downtime to get back to my reading. First up, got my hands on some Afghan books – Kilcullen’s Accidental Guerilla and Seth Jones’ In the Graveyard of Empires.  I figured I could use some catching up on that theater, given I’ve done the Iraq tour to death. Some quick thoughts:

Kilcullen’s anthropological and systems approach was refreshing and offered a clear, focused and structured approach to understanding the resurgence of AQT in the Afghan theater. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a quick roadmap into what’s going on; I’m seriously putting this on the reading list for my charges if I ever do grad year again.

In contrast, I felt Seth Jones takes an overall more historical and broad overview of matters, and the lack of overlaps made it a good complement to Kilcullen’s book, which provides a more specific framework on how to deal with the Afghan insurgency than does Jones.  While both are in broad agreement that Pakistan needs to be more greatly squeezed, it struck me that a tribal revolt a la the sahwa in Iraq in 2006 may not be in the offing anytime soon, and the sooner the G-men realise a deal involving the Taliban may be more or less inevitable, the better things may be.


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