Tag Archives: hope


HOWARD MEGDAL: So we’ve established that the guru of COIN, Stanley McChrystal, couldn’t sell it to his own troops, let alone to the Afghans. It is stated by our own CIA Director that there are “maybe 50-100″ al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Getting military cooperation from would-be allies is proving to be impossible due to the belief that the United States will begin to withdraw next year- which, given the lack of political will for this war, we almost certainly will be.

So I must say, I come away from this feeling like for all of his successes, the decision to re-double efforts in Afghanistan has to rank among Obama’s failures so far. And by delaying exit until July 2011 or beyond, rather than acknowledging that the circumstances have changed and beginning the withdrawal process immediately, he is only exacerbating this failure.

AKIE BERMISS: I never really felt one way or another about General McChrystal but I have been extremely skeptical about the whole COIN conceptology. I am slightly less dubious about Obama’s intentions regarding the war in Afghanistan… but I am still very conflicted about it. I understand, however, that withdrawal is a delicate operation. If Obama had taken office and just said, “Ok — war’s over. Let’s go.” He’d never have recovered from the perceived weakness and lack of gravitas it would have bred. And so that leaves us with two certains: 1. we need to get the hell out of Afghanistan and 2. we can’t just up and leave. The trouble is that the strategies for leaving have often sounded like strategies for trying to rush a win now that the clock is running out.. Like its sudden death, or something. Continue reading

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The Value of Spring Training

ZOË RICE: For the past week or so, I have glutted myself on Mets’ spring training reports. I wasn’t able to go in person, but I’ve been glued to Twitter, blogs, and SNY. I’ve seen about a hundred pictures from Port St. Lucie, at least a dozen videos, and heard every report on Jose Reyes’s health, or how Oliver Perez looks in bullpen sessions, or how Jeff Francoeur is the happiest, most positive person in the world, or how Jason Bay is already fitting in, or how good first round prospect Ike Davis looks, or what Daniel Murphy and Mike Jacobs look like at first…trust me, the list goes on.

CHRIS NEEDHAM: Once you strip away the overwrought prose, Spring Training is really boring. Wake me up at the end of March.

JASON CLINKSCALES: Yes, hope springs eternal, but that’s mostly for the teams that have had little hope in recent years. For the teams that play for the here and now, however, you can’t help but to think that spring training feels more like extended calisthenics and glorified batting practice. Either way, there’s still value, though, in the thirty games for these squads, just not so much for the fans.

JESSICA BADER: As recently as a couple of years ago, I devoured every morsel of spring training coverage as though it were a four-star restaurant’s finest offering and I had subsisted on bread and water for the previous three and a half months. Now I’m just another cranky grump wishing I could fast-forward to Opening Day. What happened?

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