Afghanistan Quiz Show: Guess who wrote it, and when

Dear readers, maybe this will be too easy with all the Internets we have these days, but wanted to do a bit of an interactive thing here. I am going to quote a passage, and if you feel so inclined, please guess the source, or a general idea of the source, and the approximate date of the quote, in the comments section. Our topic is Afghanistan.

Anyone who stayed in Afghanistan for a long period of time, or who was sent there on a regular basis, typically went through four phases.

The first stage(which would usually last up to three months) went something like this: “The war is proceeding on a normal course. If only we can add another twenty or thirty thousand men, everything will be fine.”

Several months later, the second stage: “Since we’ve already gotten ourselves into this jam, we should get the fighting over with as quickly as possible. Adding another thirty thousand men isn’t going to to do it. We need at least on other army to shut off all the borders.”

Five or six months later, the thrid stage: “There is something desperately wrong here. What a mess!”

Then, half a year or so later, the fourth and final stage: “We’d be wise to get the hell out of here–and the sooner the better.”


About michaelhastings

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6 Responses to Afghanistan Quiz Show: Guess who wrote it, and when

  1. Coates Bateman says:

    John F. Burns, NY Times?

  2. Coates Bateman says:

    OK, I cheated (used google) and discovered the source. I won’t reveal; good choice.

  3. vickielyna says:

    Hi Michael,

    Daniel Korski wrote an article referencing a quote from Artyom Borovik’s book “Hidden War”. As he says it was and is an eerie passage.

    • Michael Hastings says:

      Vickie, you’re the winner! I haven’t seen the Daniel Korski piece, but will check it out. Yes, it’s a strange passage indeed.

  4. vickielyna says:

    I am stunned by how this seems to be exactly the formula we (USA) have followed. His ability to capture the complexity of war in such a simple passage is truely amazing.

    Thank you I will read the book.

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