Saturday, January 31, 2009

Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson's War shows that Americans in policymaking positions had actual knowledge of the risks of abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban following successful ejection of the Soviets, and simply failed when they tried to sell the need to protect long-term U.S. interests after Afghanistan's victory in the same way the U.S. protected long-term interests after securing objectives in Germany, Japan, and Korea. The film does show the significant impact asserted by a few people in the right place in thwarting a significant effort to expand Soviet influence in the world. And it's got some great characters.

The impact of a relatively miniscule number of CIA personnel in formulating and implementing strategy to change the fate of millions is something to think about. Looking for a few good men? The fact a story like this is nonfiction is simply boggling: if you'd written this as fiction, it would have been dismissed as implausible.

Mike Vickers, interestingly, isn't retired. He currently serves with the Department of Defense as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict & Interdependent Capabilities.

Enjoy it!

For my part, I'm going to have to add the book to my reading list.

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