The Afghanistan Study Group outlined and refuted the myths misguiding the ‘Afghan debate’.
A group led by a former U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan and the New America Foundation outlined a “Plan B” to the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan in a report released today.
Though Professor Stephen Walt endorses “most of its contents“, Plan B is short on details and sadly too abstract, but an area where where it gets into specifics, it displays adherence to the myth that the immorality and existential terror of extrajudicial assassination is counter-intuitive to paving a path toward a societies of minimal violence in Afghanistan and the tribal, semiautonomous regions of Pakistan.
The eleven ‘myths in the Afghan debate‘ consistently truthiness-told by Planet Evil to Planet Stupid were posted by Prof. Walt at his blog and are well-enunciated:
- The United States can afford to stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to win.
- The Obama administration has a feasible strategy and a clear timetable to end the war.
- The “surge” in Iraq proves that counterinsurgency strategies can work; all we have to do is “stay the course.”
- The Taliban is a group of religious fanatics who can never be appeased through negotiations.
- There is no meaningful difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
- If we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over, Al Qaeda will re-establish itself there, and new and deadly attacks on America will be more likely.
- Our large-scale presence in Afghanistan is the only thing that will ensure women’s rights.
- Withdrawal from Afghanistan will be seen as a victory for Al Qaeda and enhance its prestige.
If we scale back our engagement in Afghanistan, they will simply follow us home.
- Scaling back the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will threaten Pakistan’s stability and jeopardize control of its nuclear arsenal.
- Reducing the military effort in Afghanistan will cause allies to doubt our credibility and staying power. Some might even be tempted to cut deals with our adversaries.
- If the Obama administration scales back the mission in Afghanistan, Republicans will portray it as “soft” and the Democratic party will pay a big political price in the 2010 and 2012 elections.