Really interesting piece by my pal Noah Shachtman at the Danger Room on how a large part of the problem with our Iraqi policy is we are have never developed any objective means for testing the poltiical will of the players over there.
That just might be how you end up funding Sunnis with ties to Al Qaeda and supporting a government with ties to Iran. It's as painful as watching Jenna and the other one trying to do fractions.
Yes, shocking to think that a man who when trying to confront Osama uttered "wanted dead or alive," and not too long hence, "I don't really think much about him" has zero idea how to make consistent judgments. Read the whole thing, but here's a particularly interesting part that tells the story:
Military and other planners traditionally make instinctive assumptions about the presence or absence of political will based on a variety of subjective factors. Until now, no objective framework for determination has been developed or applied. The result is that major decisions regarding collaboration, information sharing, funding and planning are based almost exclusively on individual idiosyncracy,without taking into account historical or collective experience.
You mean like, "The more I get to know President Putin, the more I get to see his heart and soul, and the more I know we can work together in a positive way"? Sure, I can see why...