Next time...

I apologize for all the links of late. I'll get back to my stuff soon, but my mind has been on Afghanistan. Feel free to skip this one.

I had a long talk with a friend about Afghanistan last night. We agreed that the situation was heartbreaking. We disagreed (slightly) on a few things. Hard to describe those things without sounding heartless.

I stumbled on an excellent article by Phil Caputo in Politico. I guess there are a lot of arguments online about the claim at the beginning of the article that the departure from Kabul is much worse than the departure from Saigon. I wasn't interested in that and cruised on to the rest of the article, which is very interesting.

And depressing. I feel like I've read this article dozens of times. We need to learn X lessons from this debacle. We never do.

Right now there are young men and women in the military academies itching to get their shot. We can do better next time. Young journalists are reading Caputo's article or watching Clarissa Ward and thinking, wow, that sounds so exciting. Professors like Stephen Biddle and Michael O'Hanlon are pointing out all the ways it should have worked, if the USG had just heeded their advice. Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and the other neocons are waiting in the wings, tossing out bait, ready to hook them for the next great military adventure.

I hope there are some positive, unanticipated consequences in Afghanistan. The Afghans deserve a break. I also hope we focus our energy and resources on problems we can actually address and solve.

But I'm skeptical. DC is already salivating over Ahmad Massoud's Northern Resistance.

Has there been a Game of Thrones-like "King in the North" article yet? I guarantee USG personnel and journalists are trying to get embedded in that resistance, if they're not already there.

And this doesn't help.

Long live The Great Game. (That's not an affiliate link - that'd be gross.)