Friday, January 28, 2011

What a time to be busy

Tunisia is still far from sorted out, Lebanon's teetering on the brink, and Egypt has no internet. I'd love to be a full-time news junkie (or actually take off for the Middle East), but of course a new semester is starting and a thesis needs drafting.

The one thing I can follow and justify as work is, of course, Afghanistan. Martine van Bijlert asks many of the questions I'd post here if I had the time to write. We're pouring so much into Afghanistan right now that the conventional wisdom about the trade-offs between "quickly, cheaply, and well" allowing only two of the three have broken down - things are happening quickly, but they are neither cheap nor quality, it seems. Van Bijlert asks what the end goal is, but I'm afraid the answer might be that no one has it - everyone is so operationally busy working towards 2014 that they just don't see the strategic picture.

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