Brainwashed

American Prospect offers a look at the development of counterinsurgency doctrine. Some of the analysis is highly debatable. One particularly interesting tidbit is that defense guru Edward Luttwak favors junking the Afghan war for reasons and in favor of a strategy I agree with:

“What the fuck are we doing there?” he asks. “Much better to abandon it and do occasional punitive expeditions as opposed to counterinsurgency and its enormous costs. I’ve been to Afghanistan. Basically, you’d have to kill every single Afghan and take all the children and put them in boarding school, preferably in England.”

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War and the Economy

Matt Yglesias:

Very little public attention has focused on bin Laden’s desired goal of provoking the United States into an overreaction that drains our economy and leads to an economic crisis. And yet here were are, over seven years after 9/11 and over five years since the invasion of Iraq, and in the midst of an economic crisis.

Surge Quarrel

The New York Times offers new details about how Bush decided on the five-brigade surge in Iraq. Interesting for what it reveals about the wrangling within the Army itself. The generals were deeply split.