Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
One of the labels being attached to President Barack Obama is that he is a committed incrementalist - an insult or a compliment depending on which side of the political fence you sit, or indeed whether you believe it to be true.
A couple of articles on U.S.-led strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan fill out what that could mean going into the new year.
Rory Stewart writes in The New York Review of Books that a measured, long-term strategy for Afghanistan could be more effective than either extremes of a drive for victory at all costs and precipitate withdrawal. Here's an excerpt:
"Obama's central - and revolutionary - claim is that our responsibility, our means, and our interests are finite in Afghanistan. As he says, "we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars." Instead of pursuing an Afghan policy for existential reasons—doing "whatever it takes" and "whatever it costs"—we should accept that there is a limit on what we can do. And we don't have a moral obligation to do what we cannot do.