Friday, June 25, 2010

Karzai, McChrystal, Medvedev and Obama

Interested in your thoughts and comments on the following perspectives ...

Does the Karzai as Chiang Kai-Shek comparison work?

My thoughts on the Obama-Medvedev meeting, and what might happen if the economic relationship really does take off ...

The speed with which the KMT instituted land reform on Taiwan in the 1950s suggests that its failure on the mainland also had to do with bad policy. Furthermore, the KMT had a functioning army that fell apart, whereas Karzai has an army that has been unable to hold together. But in terms of outcome I think the analogy could prove true.

Stephen Biddle et al. in the current Foreign Affairs recommend either backing decentralized government or accepting a degree of warlordism in Afghanistan. I don't see how either could stand up to the present insurgency without the backing of a national army, which can only exist if there is a functioning central government. If that is no longer possible, then it is difficult to see what we can achieve by staying.

General Petraeus will have a year and the only question is whether in mid-2011 there could be a postponement of U.S. withdrawal for eighteen months, ie. to January 2013.
Thanks for sharing.
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