Posted by lex, on July 29, 2010
Former CIA DDO Jack Devine offers an alternative strategy for preventing the re-emergence of al Qaeda in Afghanistan:
Most Afghans, even those willing to deal with us, would rather we get our military out of their country. A covert action program would address this concern. It would also cost less than a military effort in treasure and lives, and allow the U.S. to continue to protect its interests and the interests of the Afghans who desire nothing more than to see their country enter a period of calm.
A smart covert action program should rest on worst-case scenarios. Afghanistan will likely enter a period of heightened instability leading up to and following our planned 2012 departure, so we should figure out now which tribal leaders—and, under specially negotiated arrangements, which Taliban factions—we could establish productive relationships with. We must also consider the possibility that our departure could precipitate the eventual collapse of the Karzai government. Thus we should cultivate relationships with leaders inside and outside the current regime who are most likely to fill the power vacuum.
The “great game,” redux.
Something tells me that, if Mr. Devine gets his way, we won’t be the only players.