Flawed by Design

by Dave Schuler on June 16, 2014

Touching on the question I asked yesterday, there’s a somewhat cerebral reaction to the problems in Iraq and Afghanistan that I think is worth considering. I’m concerned that the U. S. is doing something I’ve seen quite a lot of as a consultant and which I never do. It’s designing itself into the operational model for Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the case of Afghanistan in particular there is no way, repeat no way that the country has or will have the ability to defend its own borders for the foreseeable future. It’s a country with a GDP of $18 billion (about $670 per person) for goodness sake. With that sort of GDP a large landlocked country can’t even afford enough soldiers to do the job let alone an air force.

Basically, we’ve designed the U. S. military into the Afghanistan operational model.

The model is flawed by design. Removing the U. S. from the equation means we have no interest in whether Afghanistan can defend its border or who sets up shop there. If we have no interest in who sets up shop there, what have we been doing there for the last six years? For the last decade? Why did we invade?

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