Max Boot’s Unusual Argument about Afghanistan

Matthew Yglesias beat me to the point, but Max Boot’s op-ed in today’s New York Times makes a really curious case for why we need to send more troops to Afghanistan:

But what seems to be conspicuously absent from the conversation in the United States is the realization that Afghanistan’s corruption problem, like its security problem, can be best addressed by additional troops.

Given what I saw and heard on my visit, I believe it is indeed possible to get Afghanistan’s politicos to do a better job — you just have to watch them closely. That’s what soldiers from the Third Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, are doing in Baraki Barak, a district of Logar Province south of Kabul, under the command of Lt. Col. Tom Gukeisen…

“If you’re not sticking next to the Afghans,” one American officer tells me, “they’re going to hell.”

It’s not hard to imagine how that quote could be used to make a very different argument than the one Boot is making.

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Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.