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From Saigon to Kabul: What Bernard Fall might say about Afghanistan today

From Saigon to Kabul: What Bernard Fall might say about Afghanistan today

The other day I was looking back at Bernard Fall’s terrific speech on counterinsurgency to the Naval War College, delivered I think in 1964, and the following quote struck me. This comes right after a section in which he has asserted that tracking which side is collecting more taxes, the government or the insurgents, is a good way to understand which is winning. The italics are his.

I have emphasized that the straight military aspects, or the conventional military aspects of insurgency, are not the most important. Tax collections have nothing to do with helicopters… I would like to put it in an even simpler way: When a country is being subverted, it is not being outfought; it is being outadministered… [W]e can win the war and lose the country.

In 100 words or less: How would you apply that thought to Afghanistan today?