Small Wars Journal

Learning from Experience in Afghanistan

Thu, 11/06/2008 - 7:03am
Learning From Experience: Afghanistan stabilized after 9/11. Let's get back to what was working. By Clare Lockhart at Slate.

Clare Lockhart is the director of the Institute for State Effectiveness and co-author, with Ashraf Ghani, of Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World. She spent some three years on the ground in Afghanistan and continues to work to revitalize U.S. strategy in that country. This Slate article is an excellent example of learning from the past about the part of counterinsurgency most of us understand least well: the economic and governance lines of operation.

Both candidates for the U.S. presidency pledged to make Afghanistan a top priority. The war there now tops the news on a daily basis with tales of the devastating hardships of the Afghan people and the deaths of Afghans and NATO soldiers. The untold story is that Afghanistan was well on its way to stability in 2004. It is essential that President Obama understands why the nation slipped into chaos. The challenge now is to win the peace...

Learning From Experience at Slate.