Population-centric=Tribal-centric

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Opium, opium opium. As I’m reading your (very good) musings on Afghanistan Chris I notice how the O word keeps popping up. It would be laughable how our idiotic war on drugs is so heavily undermining our (slightly less idiotic) war on terror. Well it would be if it wasn’t so sad.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    This is an extremely important point that everyone invloved really should take fully to heart. The only problem with it that I have is I find it almost impossible to believe that those who have devised the strategy from the ground — McChrystal et al — aren’t fully cognizant of it. But I don’t know that they are. I just heard McChrystal say in the hearings that the central factor in whether we can stop the spread of Taliban quasi-legitimacy to new areas is whether there is sufficient quote-unquote “governance” in those areas. So the key question, then, is whether his concept of “governance’ is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the realities you describe, and then, whether such adjusted forms of governance are themselves sufficient for the purposes McChrystal believes necessary for effective counterinsurgency. Excellent — I now have a workable construct to keep me interested in these hearings.

    By the by, this post (http://washingtonindependent.com/69987/the-afghanistan-escalation-is-popular) from Dave Weigel is worth noting given the reviews of Obama speech last week. I didn’t have such a negative reaction to it — though there were some clunkers in it — but then I was not among those the speech was most intended to influence. It seems more Americans saw the speech in a context closer to the one given by Hendrick Hertzberg here – http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/12/14/091214taco_talk_hertzberg than by Joe Klein, pining for the Gipper, here – http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1945232,00.html.Report

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