NATO Regroups in Afghanistan

Although it has received almost no coverage, this is a significant development from Afghanistan — more so than the daily Taliban attacks currently hogging the headlines:

NATO approved a reorganization of its command structure in Afghanistan on Tuesday to better coordinate the war there against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. . . . NATO agreed to establish a new Intermediate Joint Headquarters in Kabul under an American, Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, to manage the day-to-day war. General Rodriguez will continue to report to the top American military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

This new command — equivalent to a corps headquarters — will fill a large hole in the NATO command structure. Lt. Gen. Rodriguez will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the war, as Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno was in Iraq in 2007, while Gen. Stan McChrystal will be able to concentrate on the greater strategic picture, as Gen. David Petraeus did in Iraq. It has been obvious for some time that this was a role needing to be filled, but Gen. David McKiernan had resisted appointing a corps commander, which is part of the reason he is no longer in command in Afghanistan. There had been doubts among many American officers whether NATO would accede to a request to create another new headquarters led by an American general and largely staffed by Americans, which would be seen as further “Americanizing” what is supposed to be an allied endeavor. Kudos to the Obama administration for seeing the necessity of doing this and for getting our NATO allies to go along.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

NATO Regroups in Afghanistan

Must-Reads from Magazine

Can Turkey be Trusted with F-35s?

Are the warplane's secrets safe?

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest generation air platform for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Lockheed-Martin, which builds the F-35, describes it as “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.” For both diplomatic reasons and to encourage sales, Lockheed-Martin subcontracted the production of many F-35 components to factories abroad. Many program partners—Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, for example—are consistent U.S. allies.

16
Shares
Google+ Print

The Trump Right’s Martyrdom of Kim Guadagno

Too many martyrs make a movement.

If the GOP is to be converted into a vehicle for politicians who evince Donald Trump’s brand of pragmatic center-right populism, Trump will have to demonstrate his brand of politics can deliver victories for people other than himself. Presidential pen strokes help to achieve that, as do judicial appointments. Nothing is so permanent, though, as sweeping legislative change. On that score, the newly Trumpian Republican Party is coming up short. If the passive process of transformational legislative success fails to compel anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP to give up the ghost, there is always arm-twisting. It seems the Republican National Committee is happy to play enforcer.

9
Shares
Google+ Print

The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I ask Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman whether the health-care debacle this week is simply a reflection of the same pressures on the conservative coalition Donald Trump saw and conquered by running for president last year—and what it will mean for him and them that he has provided no rallying point for Republican politicians. And then we discuss OJ Simpson. Give a listen.

2
Shares
Google+ Print

Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’ awkward first meeting in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump among European leaders.

12
Shares
Google+ Print

Trump Quietly Gives Putin What He Wants

Quid pro quo?

Until now, the notion that Donald Trump was providing Russia and Vladimir Putin with concessions at the expense of U.S. interests was poorly supported. That all changed on Wednesday afternoon when the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump ordered his national security advisor and CIA director to scrap a program that provided covert aid to anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

30
Shares
Google+ Print