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« On BBC's "World Have Your Say" 1300 EST today re: China | Main | Mapping the Future »
7:00AM

Time's Battleland: "Counter-terrorism beats nation-building? Are we going to bury COIN all over again?"

My old classmate Fareed Zakaria recently made the argument that counterterrorism beats nation-building when it comes to winning the war on terror. Taking Osama Bin Laden's killing as a point of American pride, he says that sort of military/intelligence operation is what we're good at, and so we should stick with it versus pursue the larger counterinsurgency (COIN) effort that General David Petraeus has now led in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a broad point to be making off the Bin Laden operation, especially as Petraeus heads to CIA. While I may agree with Fareed WRT Af-Pak, let me express a larger concern.


Read the entire post at Time's Battleland.

Reader Comments (1)

"Spiking the football." Well, if we are going to get into football analogies, we must remember what Coach Woody Hayes (Three yards and a cloud of dust) used to say about throwing the football.. Woody said "Three things can happen when you throw the ball and two of them are bad."

Americans hate the slow grind of Afghanistan. That's Woody's way. Pound it out a yard (village) at a time. We like the "bomb" instead. Throw long. "Red, 88, fly right." That's our call. Fly over the borders courtesy of the 160th Special Ops guys, the "Night Stalkers" and land right in the enemy's back yard. Commando stuff. Like we see on T.V.

Risky business. A lot can go wrong. A whole lot. Oh, it's great for killing somebody. Perfect for revenge. The Israelis like to do it. Have been doing it for years. That's the problem. Israel has killed hundreds, literally hundreds of terrorist leaders since 1948. Ask yourself "How has that worked out?"

I'm very happy that we killed Bin laden. A superb piece of work by all concerned. It will not stop Iran from trying to develop nuclear weapons. It won't keep the Muslim Brotherhood from influencing the government in Egypt and it does not impact, Yemen, Somalia or Libya.

Kudos to President Obama, the intelligence community and our military. But we have a long fight ahead and we need allies.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor

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