Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Apparently ...

... I severely understated it when I mentioned earlier this afternoon that the situation in Afghanistan was complicated and difficult (for me) to understand.

Watching The Rachel Maddow Show tonight, I saw this being a lot more complicated than even I thought. Richard Engel of NBC News, who's currently embedded with troops in Afghanistan, posted to his blog on Wednesday morning about how complicated the counterinsurgency strategy (called COIN for short) that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been advocating for quite some time.

The verbal description, which Engel lays out here, seems simple enough. But when one examines the unclassified document from the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that explains the strategy, seemingly simple gives way to mind-numbingly confusing.

I'm talking more complicated than a J.J. Abrams TV drama.

The 30-page document breaks the strategy down in steps, with page 22 putting the whole thing together for the first time. Don't believe me? See for yourself by clicking here.

Seriously. The current health care debate seems downright elementary by comparison.

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