Depressing War-On-Terror Fact Of The Day

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Monday, April 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm

I spent the afternoon at a State Dept.-hosted conference on counterinsurgency and the interagency process, all of which will be featured in an upcoming installment of my counterinsurgency series. For now, try not to reach for the bottle when you read this piece of information, courtesy of department counselor Eliot A. Cohen: You know how many Pashto speakers the department has in Afghanistan? Two. And Cohen didn’t seem so concerned about it!


It’s not a question of Pashto-speaking "capacity," he told reporters after he spoke at the conference. The department recently approved bringing on board an additional 1200 new personnel — there are about 6500 Foreign Service Officers total — but Cohen said, "We’ll never match boots on the ground with wingtips on the ground." C’est la vie. Not like there’s a war on in Afghanistan or anything.

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