Listening to the protracted Washington debate over the war in Afghanistan, the phrase Catch-22 comes to mind. It was the title of a best-selling 1961 satirical novel on World War II by Joseph Heller and entered the popular lexicon to denote a conundrum without a winning solution.
Example: You can’t get work without experience and you can’t get experience without work.
In the context of the war in Afghanistan, soon entering its ninth year and already longer than the Vietnam war, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in mid-September heard a description of the Afghan conundrum worthy of joining a list of examples to explain Catch-22.
“You need to defeat the Taliban to build a state and you need to build a state to defeat the Taliban.
There cannot be security without development or development without security.”