I’ve been arguing for a “smart withdrawal”–a withdrawal that relies on local alliance building and a gradual exit–for a while. Because it’s against my nature to be a die-hard partisan of any idea, I’m posting a link to Max Boot’s latest article in Commentary, titled “How We Can Win in Afghanistan.” It offers a more precise definition of counterinsurgency and basically argues–contrary to my previous post–that what we’ve been doing in Afghanistan for the past 8 years was not proper counterinsurgency. The thrust of Boot’s argument is ‘if only we could do counterinsurgency better, then we’d succeed.’ I strongly disagree with the premise that counterinsurgency will work, but am willing to concede that had we fought with a coherent strategy since 2001, we would not be in the position we are in today.