If anything has been sorely missing to date in America’s choices in the Middle East and Central Asia, it has been a strategic mind-set that consistently keeps its eyes on the real prize: connecting these isolated regions in a far more broadband fashion to the global economy. Instead of effectively countering the efforts of others (e.g., the radical Salafis, Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabists, Russia’s security services, China’s energy sector) who would fashion such connectivity to their selfish ends, Washington has wasted precious time focusing excessively on transforming the political systems of Iraq and Afghanistan, as though governments somehow birth functioning societies and economies instead of the other way around.(em. mine)
From a piece on Adm. Fallon, here.
And boy howdy doesn’t that explain right where the Republicans drove themselves into a trench by turning into Wilsonians and economic progressives, too. Thank God Petraeus also seems to “get it” in a way that some of BushCo’s earlier picks didn’t. (Such as Paul, “the tribes don’t count” Bremer, a man who history is going to treat very unkindly)