- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
This is going to be a surprise to General McChrystal, who thinks it is.
What a hot tranny mess! The fact of the matter is that, pretty much as usual, Biden doesn’t know what he is talking about. He has some vague notion of counterinsurgency as a massive, nation-wide effort. But word on the street is that he has been dozing during the briefings: In fact, McChrystal and his boss, the once-prominent Gen. David Petraeus, have explicitly said that the revamped approach is focused on only about 40 percent of Afghanistan, and that even within that area, outlying areas won’t be handled in a troop-intensive, classic counterinsurgency manner, but rather with focused counter-terror raids.
Request to NSC: Will someone over there have the VP and his posse get a brief on counterinsurgency from the Special Operators on the Joint Staff before he shoots off his mouth again? I mean, do him a favor.
Long-term benefit: I have long been struck at how consistently good Joe Biden and John Kerry have been as counterindicators of what their party, and their nation, should do. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom — sometimes it just brings seniority.
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Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |