#Hashtag Diplomacy-Two Tuesday Links

From CSIS: ‘Video-Afghanistan After The Drawdown: U.S. Civilian Engagement Post 2014‘ (approx 1 hr 30 min).

‘Jerry Hyman argues that the strategy should be based on three possible scenarios (optimistic, pessimistic, and muddling-through)…’

I still think announcing a withdrawal date makes a difficult situation more difficult, and gives people leverage to whom we really shouldn’t give leverage.

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Click through for some ground-level coverage of what’s going on in Thailand.

I wonder how deftly the U.S. has ever handled nuanced and tense situations like these, where primary interests aren’t necessarily at stake, but good diplomacy is always welcome. Yon offers a bit of a rant against our current ambassador’s handling of the situation.

I don’t really want to get involved, but apparently, she did the moonwalk on live T.V. in the Philippines as a farewell during her ambassadorship there.  I’m just hoping for competence.

My guess is that it’s tougher to appear competent while defending the many contradictions of #hashtag diplomacy.

Yeah, Thailand, you’re just like Ukraine, so get those activists out in the streets.

Redlines and deadlines.  More speeches.

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From the comments:

‘Does the Thai military depend on US made parts for its F16s, Bells, and UH-1s, not to mention almost all of their A2A, A2G, S2A missiles and radars? (The 12 Gripens in the 701st are not going to cut it on their own)

Or does the US need Thailand as a bulwark of regional stability (in addition to South Korea and Japan), a base for forward storage of material, potential air bases and as a source of human and signals intelligence? Does the Asian pivot mean we need them more? Or does the humble foreign policy mean we need them less?

If Thailand comes under the thumb of the Chinese who will lose more? The Thai military and its elites? Or the US? It would weaken us, but we would still have other regional options.’

From CSIS: ‘Video: A Perilous Course? The Future of the U.S.-Pakistan Partnership’

Full video here. (1 hr 30 min long)

Relations have been getting worse lately.  What to do after Bin Laden?

Related On This Site:  Christopher Hitchens At Vanity Fair: ‘From Abbotabad To Worse’Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”Repost-’Dexter Filkins In The NY Times: The Long Road To Chaos In Pakistan’

From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And Pakistan…Fareed Zakaria points out that terrorism and the Pakistani state have a close relationship: Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’

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From CSIS: ‘Audio: Arnaud De Borchgrave on Muammar el-Qaddafi and Continuing Unrest in Libya’

Full audio here. (8:54 min)

As De Borchgrave notes (no has interviewed Qaddafi more), the Libyan leader has used Libya’s oil money to meddle in the affairs of no less than 41 countries since 1969, is also a manic-depressive…and likely gave up his nuclear weapons program for fear after the Iraq invasion.  He is not going to go quietly and apparently, will kill his own people.

He also seems to have been working with the U.S. to counter Islamic extremism (an important common interest as part of the war on terror but also an obvious way to maintain power and to adapt to Bush’s foreign policy).

How are the two most recent president’s definitions of freedom (Bush’s human freedom…Obama’s arc of history…) getting crafted into foreign policy that are at play?

Related On This Site:  From The New Yorker: ‘How Qaddafi Lost Libya’ From Abu Muqawama: ‘Mubarak And Me’Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘Mubaraks, Mamelukes, Modernizers and Muslims’Fareed Zakaria At Time: ‘Why There’s No Turning Back in the Middle East’

From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And PakistanFrom CSIS: ‘Turmoil In The Middle-East’From The New Yorker: ‘How Qaddafi Lost Libya’

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From CSIS: ‘Rick “Ozzie” Nelson and Tom Sanderson on the Future of Al Qaeda’

Full discussion here (audio, 13:52 min long)

Also On This Site: Zakaria points out that terrorism and the Pakistani state have a close relationship-Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’

From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And PakistanRepost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’From Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power”

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From CSIS: ‘Victory Over Al Qaeda’

Full post here.

Victory?  That seems a little much.   I suspect there is always a genuine possibility (apart from the liberal claptrap) to extend a hand to help ease the burdens found in the daily lives of Muslims, which often involve economic hardship, un-representative government, and lack of resources.

Naive, but perhaps better than to write Islam off altogether, and only push down hard when a radical and violent splinter theology pops up.

As a reader points out: We give a lot in foreign aid to Muslim countries, and what do we get?

Recently On This Site:  From Bloggingheads: Eli Lake And Matt Welch Discuss Al-QaedaFrom Michael Yon: ‘Whispers’

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From CSIS: ‘Schieffer Series-A Discussion Of U.S. Policy In Afghanistan’

Full video here.  Anthony Cordesman and some thoughtful journalists have a discussion.

Matthew Hoh’s resignation here.

Stanley McChrystal’s original report here.

Still looking for alternative strategies beyond graceful exit (potentially without meeting our security goals) or further troop commitment that would meet the Afghan people and protect our interests (and our moral commitment to the Afghans but only through our military)…your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Related On This Site:  From Bloomberg: More Troops To Afghanistan? A Memo From Henry Kissinger To Gerald Ford?From The NY Times Video: ‘A Schoolgirl’s Odyssey’From The WSJ: Graham, Lieberman and McCain “Only Decisive Force Can Prevail In AfghanistanFrom Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power”

Anthony Cordesman At CSIS: Resourcing For Defeat

Full article here.

Afghanistan was not funded nor resourced properly, according to Cordesman, and for Obama:

“I[n] [sic] the case of Afghanistan, he must either make unpopular and costly decisions to compensate for seven crippling years of underresourcing the war, or risk losing it.”

See Also:  Clive Crook At The Financial Times: Clive Crook ‘Afghanistan Is Now Obama’s War’  From Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power”

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From CSIS-Anthony Cordesman On “The Afghanistan Campaign: Can We Win?”

Full post here.

A few thoughts about Afghanistan.

Cordesman and fellows have a report here, entitled:  “Resourcing For Defeat-Critical Failures In Planning, Programming, Budgeting And Resourcing The Iraq And Afghan Wars”

Bush and Co. have set us up with little to nothing in the way of long term, meaningful strategies.  It’s more and more Obama’s problem now.

See:  From Commonweal: Andrew Bacevich “The War We Can’t Win: Afghanistan And The Limits Of American Power” 

Also On This Site:  Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”…Sarah Chayes On Afghanistan In The Boston Review: Days Of Lies And Roses

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