Sooo…you spend an entire article pointing out that Afghanistan is a borderline-failed-state with a massive corruption problem, no history of stable governance, a fractious and tribal populace, and an economy largely based on growing opium…and one of your two suggested options is to “double down” on it? Seriously?
And how, exactly, is the U.S. going to do that? Try to recreate the occupation of Germany post-WW2 complete with military government officers in every province to “teach” the dusky heathen not to pay baksheesh to their cousin the police chief or to hand out jobs to the rest of their relatives? Flood every little village with a Vietnam-style Combined Action Program squad? And this will continue until…Abdul Afghan internalizes the manners and mores of Greenwich, Connecticut?
Here’s a hint; adding bullets to jello doesn’t stiffen the jello. Throwing Western soldiers into a southwest Asian failed state…doesn’t make it less southwest Asian or less failed. The solution to Afghanistan’s problems can’t be manufactured in Washington D.C. unless Washington D.C. is willing to spend a century and limitless blood and treasure remaking Afghanistan into Washington D.C.
Why pretend otherwise?