If we ever want to get out of Afghanistan, we need to focus less on central power in Kabul and more on tribal and religious structures outside the capital. So say my CNAS colleagues -- Nate Fick, Dave Kilcullen, John Nagl and Vikram Singh -- in a new and wise policy brief.
Speaking of Afghanistan, I heard the other day that ISAF (International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan) really stands for "Internationals Sit, Anglos Fight." But of course, that is only logical, given that its parent organization, NATO, is said to really mean "No Action, Talk Only."
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Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.