In the eight years since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, political pundits have used, and largely overused, all the available historical references. We have had the comparisons to the British 19th century failures there, to the Great Game, and to the Soviet Union’s disastrous experience in the 1980s. More recently, it has been labelled “Obama’s Vietnam”.
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Is Henry Kissinger trying to update the domino theory to fit what he fears in 2008? He had a "Lunch with the FT" interview in Saturday's Financial Times and surprised his interviewer, historian Stephen Graubard, by linking the war in Iraq and Muslims in India. As Graubard wrote:
On a visit to Pakistan in April, two comments stayed in my mind, encapsulating the Pakistani view of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. One was from a political analyst in Islamabad, which stood out for the unusualness of the imagery. “Obama,” she said, “has tried to put his feet in both boats.” The other was from a senior serving officer, who appeared to be giving a personal opinion rather than reading from the script prepared for more official briefings. “The Pashtun areas (of Afghanistan) are slipping out of the hands of ISAF and NATO, and everybody knows it,” he said.