Wednesday, October 10

On the Afghanistan topic, NPR had a piece this morning about Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues, National Security Council. Interestingly, he was born and raised in Afghanistan. He may be the most influential person in our government with personal knowledge of Afghanistan. Google. The White House Press Release re: his appointment.

An excerpt from his Afghanistan: The Consolidation of a Rogue State, published winter of 2000.

Acting now is essential. The Taliban has consolidated its influence in Afghanistan over the last five years. Soon the movement will be too strong to turn away from rogue behavior. It will gain more influence with insurgents, terrorists, and narcotics traffickers and spread its abusive ideology throughout the region.

I'm not trying to place blame for anyone who didn't pay attention. There's a lot of stuff out there. But this guy has his finger on the pulse of this issue.

Coauthored US National Security Plan suggestions before Bush's inauguration. Point: want to know what Khalilzad is advising now and where we might be heading?

On brief reading, I disagree that defense needed a lot more money from the perspective of that time. We are overemphasizing technology in defense. We should be emphasizing personnel. We've got great technology. And there are reasonable advances which can be made without writing a blank check.
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