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11:09AM

WPR's The New Rules: Four Options for Redefining the Long War

There is a profound sense of completion to be found in America's elimination of Osama bin Laden, and the circumstances surrounding his death certainly fit this frontier nation's historical habit of mounting major military operations to capture or kill super-empowered bad actors. Operation Geronimo, like most notable U.S. overseas interventions of the past quarter-century, boiled down to eliminating the one man we absolutely felt we needed to get to declare victory. Now we have the opportunity to redefine this "long war" to America's most immediate advantage. I spot four basic options, each with their own attractions and distractions.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

Reader Comments (2)

Hi Tom,
My question is what happened to the 7 year reconstruction with Indian/Chinese involvment? The troop level is only at 17 per 1000 currently with the US overcontributing the bulk of forces at 205,000 including contractors. That number should be at least 20 better at 25 with China, India, and the rest contributing 131,000 each. The US focused on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2003, then 2009 to the present. That is only 2 years. What about finishing properly at 2014?
Is the conclusion being drawn that leaving Afghanistan is the way for China/India/Iran to get Afghanistan working at to $3000 GDP/capita? Has the US government even asked India and China for more troop contribution?
I do agree that India should be favored over Pakistan although where is their troop contribution or police training in Afghanistan? We have already tried special forces, and offshore missiles before and doesn't work in Afghanistan/Pakistan being 2 hours away from missiles in the arabian sea. This is the 2nd time in Afghanistan, why not finish the correct way with $3000 GDP/capita and NEVER go back. With the US aging and with more debt, why have a security problem in 2021 or 2031?
Also, what about your idea of eliminating the distrust with China first over working with India? My understanding is if China worked with the US, India would follow, then ties between China/India would follow last.
My thoughts on Pakistan are an arms ban with simple education and economic assistance only. They may not survive with their current borders, but we can still get them to pay to cure their wheat rust disease and othe food/water problems that India doesn't help them with being at the headwaters of the Indus river in Kashmir.
I apologize for the long entry, just asking clarification.
Thanks.
Derek Bergquist

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Bergquist

The Obama administration shows no real desire to involve regional pillars, not even encouraging India. With that mindset, better not to waste our resources and better to force locals to step in, in our absence. Our current trajectory is both unsustainable and unworkable. - our choice, but there it is.

Same logic on China v. India: Obama admin shows no sign of wanting to deal more realistically with China, instead wanting to contain. If that's their larger strategy, then why do we fund Pakistan and alienate India in the process.

I disagree with the larger strategies in both aspects, but in living in the real world, these are the choices I find myself advocating.

May 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterThomas P.M. Barnett

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