Thomas E. Ricks always has interesting things to say about Afghanistan, where he spent some time as a young man (did you catch him on Meet the press this weekend?). From Sunday's Washington Post:
This week's confrontation between a senior Army general and the president of the United States may have signaled the beginning of the end of the war in Afghanistan. In a year or two, President Obama will be able to say that he gave the conflict his best shot, reshaping the strategy and even putting his top guy in charge, the general who led the surge in Iraq -- but that things still didn't work out.
Then he can begin pulling out.
This is not a vote of no-confidence in Gen. David H. Petraeus, whom the president has selected to lead the U.S. effort in Afghanistan, replacing the disgraced Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. It is a simple recognition that the conditions Petraeus enjoyed in Iraq are far from present in Afghanistan, and that the key skills he brought to bear in the first war won't help him as much in the second.
The full story here.
Thomas Ricks also once proposed "Why not do the Petraeus plan [counterinsurgency] for the major population centers and the Biden plan [counterterrorism] for the rest of the country?"
No one listened.