|Excerpt / Summary|
"... our grand ambition to build an ideal Afghanistan dilutes our efforts to strike our mortal enemies, mires our forces in a vain mission civilatrice, and leaves our troops hostage to the whims of venomous regimes."
"Even a return to power of the Taliban—certainly undesirable in human-rights terms—does not mean that September 11, Part Two, then becomes inevi- table. The next terror attack on the West will not be launched from Afghanistan.
Pause to consider how lockstep what passes for analysis in Washington has become. The Taliban’s asymmetric strategy is not to defeat us militarily, but to make Afghani- stan ungovernable. But what if our strategy, instead of seeking to transform the country into a model state, were simply to make it ungovernable for the Taliban? Our chances of success would soar while our costs would plummet. But such a commonsense approach is unthinkable. We think in terms of West- phalian states even where none exist.