23 October 2009

Go Big or Go Home?

LTC Dan Davis (US Army officer and DIA analyst) adds another great perspective to the Afghanistan debate with his in-depth analysis of strategy options entitled "Go Big or Go Deep."

It's 30 pages long, but well worth a read over the weekend. It provides a critique of the COIN surge option (what he calls "Go Big") and advocates a hybrid solution focused primarily on CT options (what he calls "Go Deep") and scaling down our ambitious goals of growing ANSF capability. There are some major issues with his proposed strategy (especially in his argument to make the NCTC responsible for coordinating all CT operations in Afghanistan, which would be a disaster), but the real value of his paper lies in his argument against the COIN surge and his examination of the risk involved with both COAs.

Additionally, the paper ends with a short comparison of the Iraq surge to the situation in Afghanistan, making a great point about the stark differences between the two. If you only have 5 minutes, read the epilogue for some good perspective.

Download the full PDF document here.

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