Ezra Klein endorses Jim Henley for the Washington Post's (absurd) "America's Next Great Pundit" contest (the winner receives two hundred dollars per column! a princely sum!). From Henley's entry, which can be found here:
There's been much discussion lately about whether to pursue a counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan, or a more limited counterterrorism strategy. It's important for the ordinary American to have an understanding of the difference, and to understand why it takes more troops and costs more money to pursue counterinsurgency.
In a counterinsurgency strategy, America hangs around a foreign country for years and years, occasionally killing people who live there, while pretending it's for their own good. This takes a lot of people because the military, and the civilian parts of the government that control the military, are very specialized. You need people to do the hanging around, people to do the occasional killing of people that live there, and even more people to do the pretending. As you might imagine, pretending to foreigners that killing them is for their own good is hard! Not just anyone can pull that off with a straight face, and you need a lot of people who can. Remember how upset people got at those town halls over the summer? That was for "death panels" that didn't even exist. Now imagine that you actually are occasionally killing people's neighbors! Basically, you have to hold an awful lot of town halls.
I think Henley's got a good shot at winning, and will no doubt receive a warm welcome from the Krauthammer, who's never met a war he didn't want to start or a policy decision that wasn't easily decided by reference to the Munich Agreement (I thought that might be too harsh, but then I made the mistake of visiting his recent archives and reading his latest column, which conveniently ignores the actual results).Posted by eatingbark at October 2, 2009 11:34 AM