I was thinking about how the great but necessary leap in counterinsurgency is to arm the locals, even if the central government opposes it. Once you make them able to provide their own security, they can start making choices, and you can start thinking about leaving.
It occurred to be that this essential move can be summarized with two catchphrases of the 1960s: "power to the people" and "think globally, act locally." That made me wonder if other '60s phrases might also apply. Question authority? If it feels good, do it?
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.