Talleyrand finds little to add to the plethora of Afghanistan-related commentary beyond what he’s already said. However, two points jump out as being unmentioned and worth considering. The first is that the president’s incredibly
calculated policy—which bears more resemblance to military science than to political art—relies upon countless
assumptions about realities in Afghanistan which are barely noted by anyone outside the region. The second, related, point
is that he still (at least in public) seems to be relying almost entirely upon the authorities in Kabul as the primary interlocutor.
But his policy will only work if the loyalties, interests and leverage of many more middle- and lower-level Afghan (and other
regional) power brokers are bought and kept. The less this is reported upon, the better. But we pray it has begun to happen