@ fuster:
Don't see how 100,000 Amis in A-stan forever greatly improves the odds on that variable, or how exactly it's a vital American interest.

We didn't commit to this thing for the sake of getting Pak to do anything in particular about Taliban.

@ fuster:
"getting something done" is an abstraction. Getting what done exactly? There's lotsa somethings worth getting doned in this ball of confusion.

Did you see Kill/Capture? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kill-capture/ Admittedly a one-sided look at what we're doing, but that doesn't make it bottom-line false. Very similar to that HBO thing I reviewed here a few months ago. There's a real self-subverting cost - not just to Afghans, but to us - to this extended ultra-expedition to the ends of the Earth, constantly producing stories like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/world/asia/13afghan.html .

We can't make them like us, and we can't make them like us either. That doesn't mean you're wrong, but it does mean that we need a better justification than "get something done."

If BHO sed GTFO, it would still take a year or two to mostly GTFO, but I think we're def on the GTFO track. It's just a question of how fast, who first, and what we want to have left over.

If it's practical at all, I think we'll aim for a 20,000 or fewer air-suppliable, very air-mobile extremely bad group of good guys prepared to hammer down any major nails, but otherwise not enough concerned about AfPak border wars and other matters to contemplate re-escalation.

It took a lot less than that to take down the Taliban the first time around.

fuster wrote:

Maybe there’s a little more to do, Matt.

Or maybe those goals aren't attainable through a large expeditionary force breaking things and hurting people in and around Afghanistan. Maybe sustaining that force and its operations pushes those already distant goals even further away. Maybe it's time to move into the backswing after the decade-long forward sweep, among other things as the only way to find out what, if anything, we've actually accomplished.