The reason we will lose (in Afghanistan) is that our
strategic objective is unrealistic. Neither America nor anyone can turn
Afghanistan into a modern state, aka Brave New World. In attempting to
do so, we have launched broadscale assaults on Afghanistans rural
economy and culture, guaranteeing that the Pashtun countryside will
eventually turn against us. Afghan wars are decided in the countryside,
not in Kabul.
I agree. The recent pressure on Afghanistan's opium production is a strategic blunder. It is the reason the country fell so quickly and why it will ignite again.
Frankly, its unlikely that 20 m Afghans will be able to do anything of
value that can compete with 2 billion Chinese and Indians in the global
marketplace (for 20 years at least). They don't have the proximity,
infrastructure, cohesiveness, etc. that can make it happen (note that
all of those factors work in favor of what they are currently selling). [John Robb's Weblog]