Update and bumped:
Uh-oh. The General is stepping up his rhetoric.
Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, has told U.S. officials the next two weeks are critical to determining whether the Pakistani government will survive, FOX News has learned.
So. We have a sort of count-down here, it appears. I think it was Orwell, writing during WWII, who said that "You might not be interested in the war; but the war is interested in you." The President may be about to really understand that sentence. I don't think I've heard Petreaus couch things in such a short time span before. And I don't think the man is given to exaggerating when he says things. This can't be good.
I'm in Taji this week, guest-instructing a couple of classes in my area of specialization at the COIN Academy. When not teaching, I'm spending the week going through the Counterinsurgency Center for Excellence Leaders Course alongside the unit that I will be working with as my old unit RIPs out.
It's good stuff, to be sure. I wish we could have a trusted journalist, one known to be fair and careful with America's genuine secrets, sit through it and tell the story. It's amazing how much attention and care is paid to these issues of reconstructing Iraq, shepherding its institutions, and helping its people enjoy expanding security and essential services. Talk about friction points is frank and in depth. It would be good if people understood that. Most of America has no idea.
I did have a moment just a while ago to read through Eric Blair's dissection of the Kaplan piece. While more entertaining and written in a blustery form -- as befits a blog rather than an academy -- it is intellectually on par. While here in Iraq, I rarely have time to do more than point out interesting things that are worth reading and considering. I had wanted to do a long piece on it myself, but simply have not had the time.
Fortunately, here at the Grim's Hall Strategic Center for Excellence, we have a staff of writers who can do it for you even when I'm away.