I could probably save myself some time by writing a generic Yglesias is wrong on __________ . If there is another person who is more consistently dumb as a box of rocks on all kinds of issues I don't know of them. For some reason he is considered a thinker, I have yet to see it demonstrated in anything he has written. He is busy today with the idea that everything that went wrong in Afghanistan is W's fault and that is why Obama is acting like such a spineless ditherer.
It can’t be said often enough that the decisions the Obama administration is facing on Afghanistan are a direct result of the Bush administration’s exceedingly poor policymaking.
Actually buddy it can be said far too many times and it will still be wrong every single time. Not that Matt is any kind of authority on Afghanistan or much of anything, but I'll go ahead and correct him. Let's look at the stats.
The casualties for each year stayed around 50 until 2005 which falls about a year after Pakistan made it's first deal with the border tribes letting them run free. Then they start to climb again in 2007 and 2008 after Pakistan again ceded authority to the bad guys and they had time and resources to recruit and train and reinfiltrate Afghanistan. I hate to point out inconvenient truths to such a noted strategic mastermind of the Joe Biden School of Military Mysticism, but that's why things went to shite in Afghanistan and W wasn't President of Pakistan. W did get a request for more troops from Gen. McKiernan in 2008 and he decided it would be unfair to the next President, whoever that was going to be, to make such an important decision as he was walking out the door and right in the middle of the election. Right or wrong that's what happened and he could have easily done it given the brave talk coming from candidate Obama. Instead he had LTG Lute conduct a full assessment of the situation and handed it to Obama when he walked in the White House. That was what Obama based his vaunted new strategy on on March.
The problem with having no ideas of your own is that all you can do is whine about what others do.