A truly impressive blog just discovered. Run by two people - one a yank in exile, the other an Afghan in Kabul, it's informed, aggressive and simple like blogs should be. Based on news and writing. Some samples:
"We need to do a bootcamp and fast-track OCS school to put at least 1000 Arabic speaking officers trained in civil affairs on the ground in 3 months. Preferably two or three thousand if we can get them. We need to expand military recruitment to prepare for the rotation schedule to maintain at least 150,000 soldiers in country for at least two more years. We need to improve supply line safety by consolidating bases and establishing 24/7 secured "lines of communication". We need to get Arabic speaking plains-clothes intel agents on the ground, dedicated solely to rooting out with bribes and networking all Resistance forces and foreign militants. And we need another thousand or so of them ASAP. We need Iraqi forces to do checkpoints or we comepletely abandon them. US forces manning checkpoints except at secure facilities only breeds resentment and makes them targets. We need to abandon and then demolish the Green Zone to prevent it from being used as a symbol, and then move all CPA operations to a more secure location right outside of Baghdad. We need to assign long in-country rotations - recruited with heavy bonuses if necessary - military civil affairs officers (speaking Arabic of course) that will stay as troops are rotated in and out and assigned to the rural areas and towns all around Iraq at the provincial level. We need PRT teams and a big expansion of them like how the model teams in Afghanistan worked.
And that's just on the military side. On the civilian side there is allot we can do - rescind the foreign privatization order and instead create a micro-lending capital investment fund tha will make small business loans to Iraqis in order to start businesses and make money" This was a comment on Daniel Drezner's blog, also excellent.
Or what about this, on drug policy?
"Let's consider the case of, oh, I don't know, how about Afghanistan? Opium production almost certainly has a greater effect on the country than anything besides ISAF -- the NATO-led security forces in Kabul (without ISAF, there would most likely be a civil war raging here, but let's set that aside for the moment). And to give credit where it's due, I should point out that the heroin trade is--by far--the largest single component of Afghanistan's GDP, and is therefore responsible for bringing a lot of capital and wealth into the country....It is no exaggeration to say that if America and Europe suddenly legalized the importation (and use) of heroin, Afghan society would be transformed nearly overnight"
And this is one of my favourites: "Seriously, has there ever been someone who has gotten more out of low expectations than GWB?"
It's good and it's getting a link.