Passport

Afghanistan is not Sweden

I’ve already said I was underwhelmed by the Wikileaks docu-dump on the Afghan war, and Peter Feaver and Dan Drezner have also weighed in with similar takes. As Drezner puts it, "So it turns out that the war in Afghanistan is not going well and Pakistan is playing a double game? Well, knock me down ...

Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

I've already said I was underwhelmed by the Wikileaks docu-dump on the Afghan war, and Peter Feaver and Dan Drezner have also weighed in with similar takes. As Drezner puts it, "So it turns out that the war in Afghanistan is not going well and Pakistan is playing a double game? Well, knock me down with a feather!!"

Nonetheless, a lot of people seem to be shocked by the revelations in the documents. One of them is New Yorker editor Amy Davidson, who discusses one incident where a convoy was shaken down by Afghan gunmen "in the pay of a local warlord, Matiullah Khan, who was himself in the pay, ultimately, of the American public." (Khan was the subject of a lengthy New York Times profile in June.)

Davidson seems outraged by this, but I find her reaction naive. She writes: "We may be the ones being shaken down on the highway, but from an Afghan perspective we are, by aligning ourselves with and propping up Hamid Karzai, also deploying the bandits. We are robbing ourselves, both of our purse and of our good name."

I’ve already said I was underwhelmed by the Wikileaks docu-dump on the Afghan war, and Peter Feaver and Dan Drezner have also weighed in with similar takes. As Drezner puts it, "So it turns out that the war in Afghanistan is not going well and Pakistan is playing a double game? Well, knock me down with a feather!!"

Nonetheless, a lot of people seem to be shocked by the revelations in the documents. One of them is New Yorker editor Amy Davidson, who discusses one incident where a convoy was shaken down by Afghan gunmen "in the pay of a local warlord, Matiullah Khan, who was himself in the pay, ultimately, of the American public." (Khan was the subject of a lengthy New York Times profile in June.)

Davidson seems outraged by this, but I find her reaction naive. She writes: "We may be the ones being shaken down on the highway, but from an Afghan perspective we are, by aligning ourselves with and propping up Hamid Karzai, also deploying the bandits. We are robbing ourselves, both of our purse and of our good name."

Fair enough. So who should the U.S. align with? And how does she think all those supplies get to U.S. bases?

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