The Best Defense

Zinni got dissed

It isn't good news that the Obama administration apparently offered retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni the job of ambassador to Iraq and then rescinded it without telling him.

Zinni has stepped on a lot of toes through the years, but he is highly respected both inside the U.S. military and in the Arab world. I think he would have made a good proconsul, especially if both the U.S. civilian and military sides of the effort reported to him. 

Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press

The Best Defense

For the COINhatas (and you know who you are)

It would be a mistake to read my series of posts on the Wanat battle solely through the prism of "COIN: good or bad?" Yes, I do think that there is some evidence that the battalion was trying to use some principles of counterinsurgency, but there also is evidence that they were doing so incompletely, or even haphazardly. Just because the Army told Sen. Inouye that the unit was doing COIN doesn't mean it was doing it will.

But most of my questions were outside the realm of COIN doctrine. Whatever the mission was, did they have enough people and resources to do it? Is this incident emblematic of the undersupported war in eastern Afghanistan?