For a couple of months now, Afghanistan experts like Barnett Rubin and enthusiasts (for lack of a better term) like me (I? do I say “I?”) have been warning about the increased levels of violence in the East—right where some new-fangled counterinsurgency tactics, lovingly described by clueless journalists, were meant to be most effective. The LA Times, apparently bored with remarking at how remarkable it is that those barbaric Afghans love their cellphones too, is now finally noting that this year in RC-East violence is up nearly 40%—a number that speaks poorly of the current strategy there.
Meanwhile, ABC, during some of its 12 short minutes of annual coverage of the country, notes that the U.S. military blames the Pakistanis because… well, they certainly can’t blame themselves, can they? It’s not like the most fashionable brand of counterinsurgency theory, lovingly hand-crafted by the likes of Petraeus and Nagl, is fundamentally flawed for the ways it treats regular people like aircraft engines (or worse yet, barely-trained dogs). No, despite having little or no relation to how things are going in Iraq, the theoretical basis of our warfighting isn’t in question. It’s really those damned Pakistanis for knowing how to handle their own problems better than we do.
Maybe in the future, CBS can expand its yearly coverage of Afghanistan to—dare we hope?—eight and a half minutes to explore this some more? Alas, hope is not a strategy, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.