This blog made me angry, this is my way too long comment, I hate "experts" They haven't read anything you can't read.
Number one: There is no difference between counter-insurgency and counter-terror. WTF, I feel like i'm taking crazy pills! Lets take out the counter and we end up with insurgency and terror(short for terrorism).
WHat is the difference between insurgency and terrorism? The definitions of both are exactly the same they just use different words. A terrorist IS an insurgent it just depends on HOW YOU WANT TO LABEL THE ONGOING CONFLICT: a civil war or a few fringe violent radicals who want regime change. An insurgency is just a larger pattern of terrorism. WTF!? is nobody else seeing this? Is it really that hard? How would "insurgency" manifest itself? violent actions against civilians or government? in order to destabilize a regime? OH SHIT! well how would "terrorism" manifest itself? VIOLENT ACTIONS AGAINST CIVILIANS OR GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO DESTABILIZE A REGIME!
How can you say, end A, but begin A(with a different label). How can you be so naive as to think the two are different and how can you be so naive as to not realize that we are in Afghanistan until we fall, just like Korea, Germany, Japan, Gitmo, Iraq, etc., etc. YOU ARE ONLY HELPING THE REGIME RE-LABEL AN UNSUSTAINABLE WAR!
Now I would like to address this next point You said: "The U.S. could "win" in Afghanistan where victory is defined as a stable, legitimate central government that can project power within its own borders."
There has NEVER been a central government that can project power to all of Afghanistan. As you claim to have some knowledge of geopolitics you should really really know this. Pakistan through the Taliban could never do it, Russia could never do it, and we will not be able to do it. You should also be aware that when you use neutral words like "project power" what you really mean is that the central government has the ability to regularly enact violence in all geographical areas within those borders. We don't need your pedantic euphemisms to efface the utopian violence you are advocating Mr. COIN expert.
Regaining hard power he says. All you "experts" on hegemony have not historicized your discourse. Let me give you a quick history lesson: Its world war I!!!!! omg a multipolar hegemonic system! Many different "poles" or world powers duking it out over vague concepts of ethnicity and economic bitterness. OMG its world war 2!!!! The vague concepts of ethnicity have become completely entrenched in nationhood and are now conflated with "race" in what will be the final act of a multipolar hegemonic system two winners will emerge. CCCP and USA. Now look! A bi-polar hegemonic system! The concept of race's imbrication with nation has been effaced by the feigned revulsion of the holocaust's eradication of the other(even though the need to fill the psychic ontology of the self through destruction of the other is still part and parcel of modernism), now we are on to ideology! Two different poles of thought police: USSR and United States, labeling their justifications for violence "Communism" and "democracy" respectively. who will win!?!?
There are a lot of ideas about the transition from bipolar to unipolar out there. The only one that matters is the narrative of energy. Without energy the lights go out no more typey typey on computer, no more lithium from bolivia for ipods, no more IPODS!!!!! No more food, no more movement, no more credit, etc. Our current historical trajectory requires immense amounts of energy or else everything crashes. In order to become the unipolar world power the USSR and USA engaged in ideological battles, proxy warfare (for ideology, energy, drugs etc.) but in the end the country that controls energy will be the unipolar hegemon. The USSR suffered internal collapse before any ultimate confrontation could take place: rumors of a travel visa causing the berlin wall to fall. THen glasnost and perestroika causing the fissures of an already troubled society to become apparent. Without the competition from the USSR it was now the USA's turn to dictate the terms of global organization. Actions like Kosovo, the first gulf war(being the iran-iraq war[which was a policy actively supported by washington's agenda:making iran and iraq batter eachother in order to make sure a regional hegemon never appeared]), the other two gulf wars, special forces deployment in Iran, destabilization campaigns in Iran. Were the efforts of the US intelligence community in destabilizing Iran insurgency or terrorism? Do you understand yet?
A stable democracy in afghanistan, point out a stable democracy in this world. Were you paying attention to the midterm elections? we are a divided country. There is no such thing as some utopian stable democracy, everybody has problems, internal contradictions, and unsustainable institutions.
Now here is where your argument goes completely off the wall: you claim war fatigue is the undergirding support for your argument!!!! WAR FATIGUE!! in this day and age? Iran and Iraq aren't even on the fucking list of issues this election, nobody gives a shit, war has become entertainment! We eradicate the other through our remote control bombers(which by the way Iran has started building [I hope you're the first one to get hit by one, for advocating terrorism through remote control aircraft in the first place you ignorant americunt]) to create a "stable"(like you say) ontology of self. There are no stable ontologies of self and no stable democracies, in fact nothing in this world is stable we re-create THE ENTIRE FUCKING THING EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY! Why should we be killing people for your utopian dream! because you re-label the violence?
How will "overextension" manifest itself n00b? lol can't we just....RECRUIT MORE! lol, elect more republicans to cut social spending send more to the military? Well we've BEEN DOING THAT FOR A LONG LONG TIME! Why does this war which is the longest in US history and STILL HAS NOT CAUSED WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT happen all of a sudden now?
China "free riding" lol what is this mancur olson? Are you aware of the joint military drills China and Russia regularly engage in? are you aware of SEATO and various other asian military, economic, and political treaties? Why would the chinese collapse the dollar? It would destroy their growth and the rest of the world's economies. There is no danger of China calling in debts it knows it can't be paid, in the same way there is no danger from a state launched nuclear missile because of mutually assured destruction. Now comes the real reason you want to get out of Afghanistan: TO REDEPLOY ELSESHWERE! To be ready for various other paranoid "red dawn" fantasies.
OH no theres more! we will use the money to PAY INTEREST ON THE DEBTS THAT WILL NEVER BE CALLED IN! rofl, this is so epically absurd.
"Only the B-52 Effect will prevent a resumption of frank civil war along ethnic lines,"
The B-52 effect is terror of what we can drop on them from above right? some kind of....terrorism? right?
"To paraphrase the line from Kaplan's Warrior Politics that changed my mind: At the end of the day, America's power to do good is strongest when American hard power is both abundant and largely held in reserve."
The quote that changed your mind is Kaplan's rehashing of the white man's burden?!!?!? When has the US ever done "Good"? When it happened was it not just serendipity that caused it while the US was pursuing its reified agenda?
We're in afghanistan to stay, if you're gonna advocate the opposite, at least strap on a nutsack and say it like you mean it none of this re-labeling equivocation bullshit.