Before the Surge Troops Leave Afghanistan, Do Waziristan

In 1986, in the wake of the multiple disasters of the Jimmy Carter Administration, two distinguished professors of the Presidency and of American government published a brave little book called Thinking in Time: the Uses of History for Decision Makers. The core argument of Richard Neustadt and Ernest May was that the proper use of history (especially the use of analogies) could improve the quality of outcomes for future presidents. Now that Barack Obama has announced he will be withdrawing the 30,000 surge troops from Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months, Professors Neustadt and May's message couldn't be more relevant. As it appears, the President made his decision on purely political grounds, rejecting the advice of America's military leaders. But, even within the framework of Mr. Obama's timetable, a great deal of flexibility is available to improve the odds for a successful outcome. That's because, within living American memory, there's a precedent for how to do this....(Read Full Article)