As previously announced, ChicagoBoyz will be hosting a roundtable discussion of the American campaign in Afghanistan, looking back from a forty year distance, from 2050.
In the few weeks since the initial post went up, we have had several dramatic events occur: The end of Gen. McChrystal’s command, the rise of Gen. Petraeus for a historic second command of a very troubled war, the apparent abandonment of President Obama’s timetable, the appearance of the Wikileaks document trove … . These are major developments.
Yet, looking back at any historical events from a long enough distance, all the details get ironed flat, the granularity milled to smooth powder, the larger patterns emerge, while the roles of key individuals sometimes come into clearer focus.
But for now, we don’t know how this war is going to play out. We are doomed to live history marching backward, facing only the past, and not knowing what we will trip over next.
Imagining possible outcomes, and possible explanations for those outcomes, can help us understand what is happening now, and help to clarify what we should be doing.
Our Roundtable contributors will publish their posts and responses during the third and fourth weeks of August, 2010.