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10/31/2008

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ian

Short answer: Press coverage of the other side is essential. Being in a situation where you might be complicit in the killing of Americans is not defensible.

Just on this point, what would you think if the journalist had not been a US citizen, but from a country that was not taking part in the war in Afghanistan. Would you think it unethical for a US media organ to carry the reporting of such a journalist?

J.

"At the level of the Secretary of Defense and the JCS Chairman, there has not been a clear strategy for Afghanistan. Gates is reactive. The strategic review should have happened a long time ago."

I think that this is a big blind spot of West and probably others. The point is not that OSD or the JCS should have done a strategic review of how things are going in Afghanistan. They KNOW that it's going nowhere, but they have no options if the White House refuses to allow them any options. I would suggest that it is the failure at the higher levels - the White House and NSC - that has limited the OSD/JCS staff from supporting any position other than "stay the course, Iraq is the focus."

Of course, it's easier for Bing and others to criticize the military than the Bush/Cheney team. It allows them to retain their conservative credentials if they don't criticize the political leadership that ought to be developing strategic policy that is executable and moves us forward in a positive direction.

Charrua

Nice post, but expressions like "moral clarity", "moral lassitude", "agnosticism", "the righteousness of our cause", etc. definitely make it look like West has a moral/religious view of the Irak/Afghanistan wars and views what he perceives as the lack of enthusiasm of Gates for said wars as a kind of moral failure. I can't see his writings as an even-handed take on the strategic failures of the Pentagon, but more like the lament of a zealot that argues that the Pentagon doesn't like killing foreigners ENOUGH.

DHB

This is a rather interesting posting no doubt. It makes a good read. I guess that the Iraq/Afghanistan wars have brought forth the western world’s view on the matter.

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