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23 February 2009

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'Disaggregate' indeed.

I am not worried about leaving Afghanistan a shining city on a hill. But I am as worried about blowback from the region as any issue in the world save catastrophic climate change.

We are training and arming the next generation of jihadis, unless we take steps to further stabilize the region. So, either we DO engage in a measure of nation-building and long-term stabilization, or we embargo all arms transfers to central Asia (impossible) so that our present day allies don't fly any planes into our buildings ten years from now.

Pakistan is arming 100,000 villagers in Swat with American arms. The ISI is still doing its thing. I know you said the two 'Stans are not as inextricably linked as many commentators suggest. But if we are to reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban to bring about peace, how is that done when most of their bases and sponsors are in Pakistan, staring fixedly across the country at the Jammu Kashmir border?

Wouldn't a thoroughly non-military solution be better? It may not bring about peace, and rather ignite another nightmare civil war in Afghanistan, but at least we'd take ourselves off the target list.

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