By IAN LIVINGSTON, HEATHER MESSERA, MICHAEL O’HANLON and AMY UNIKEWICZ January 2, 2010
In 2009, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan dominated American military and foreign policy. Which themes emerged over the last year?
In Iraq, 2009 was the year of relatively smooth transitions.
In Pakistan, 2009 was the year of the offensives.
In Afghanistan, 2009 was the year of decisions — by President Obama, of course, by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and by the Afghan people as they re-elected Hamid Karzai as president.
Phi Beta Iota: Although a puff piece in some ways, since it is well-known that Karzai is massively corrupt and the election was so fraudulent as to remind one of Idi Amin’s elections, the statistics are indeed looking good, especially in Iraq. Our concern is that the US will finally de-occupy Iraq only to create new occupations in Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia. Neither CIA nor JSOC is actually up to the challenge of global operations without blow-back, the US has no strategy and no Whole of Goverment capability for waging peace so as to calm the context in which we do one man – one bullet operations, so on balance, we are very concerned.