What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WaPo v. geography

WaPo heralded major U.S. base expansions upcoming in Afghanistan yesterday. Its syndicated content reappeared elsewhere as well. Among the expansions discussed is an interesting one, in Shindand. Even more interestingly, the article says it is "north of Kabul." But in fact it isn't. In fact, more significant is its proximity to Iran, potentially. It is not really the sort of place where you would need a lot more SFs to... halt the insurgency in Afghanistan (which is not to say there is no insurgency in Shindand and its environs).
On the other hand, the article is still relevant for what it purports to be relevant for: pertaining to U.S. miliatary plans (the U.S. military's plans) to stay in Afghanistan in peak numbers longer than Obama claimed they would. For this, an intensive persuasion effort is on, with General Petraeus speaking out (in cautious terms nevertheless) in the media. See here. The message I read out from this is "please let's not take that deadline so seriously." Previously, the military managed to get its way against the White House-weaved narrative of a D-Day coming up in Kandahar where Taliban central was supposed to be invaded. They played it down and kept it cool. Let's see where they get on this one. The stakes are higher this time.

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