A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

Denial is a well known defense mechanism that keeps unpleasant realities at bay. U.S. policymakers seem well practiced in this common coping device. Heaven knows they have good reason, no matter which direction of the Middle East they turn. Afghanistan seems right now to occasion the deepest denials because the realities are the grimmest. Two… Continue Reading A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Barack Obama’s Afghanistan commanders are something else. First, they promoted a highly debatable counter-insurgency strategy. Then, despite the numerous and cogent contemporary critiques, they got the president to buy into their particular brand of wishful thinking, and they got from him the additional troops supposedly needed for success. They have since failed to deliver. There… Continue Reading General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Karzai and the Shadow of Diem

“We’re frustrated,” conceded President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, on Monday. The U.S. relationship with Afghan president Hamid Karzai is currently strained, to say the least. Offering some historical perspective on the situation, we welcome a guest post today from Michael H. Hunt, whose most recent book, A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from… Continue Reading Karzai and the Shadow of Diem