Good Grief

Tom Ricks comes out of his August hibernation to warn that U.S. involvement in Iraq is not over and the resolution to the current political stalemate there “is likely to be a violent process.” Both Ricks and ABC News reporter Lara Setrakian wonder if the governmental gridlock will lead to the “Lebanonization” of Iraq, although Setrakian likens the current situation to Lebanon’s 2009 election, rather than their civil war.

On Afghanistan, AEI research fellow Tim Sullivan applauds the Army’s plans to upgrade airbases and special ops facilities as a sign that the United States is planning for a “sustained” regional presence. But Noah Shachtman of Danger Room points out that the coalition faces a ton of obstacles, not least of which is training Afghan forces to stop smoking pot and to read at a first-grade level. And DemocracyArsenal’s Michael Cohen says Pakistan is playing Lucy to America’s Charlie Brown, and finds Gen. Petraeus’s talk of extending the withdrawal timeline “like Vietnam all over again.”