Why? Because he actually spends times in Iraq and Afghanistan and provides some of the best reportage and commentary from those hotspots because he fearlessly goes, camera and notebook in hand, where few others dare.
So he knows what he's talking about even when I don't agree with him. Which is often.
Anyhow, Yon says that thinks are going better in Iraq than Afghanistan:
From the ground in Iraq, my perception over time was that the Coalition and Iraqis were committed to their mission and making tremendous progress, despite ongoing violence. I believe Iraq will become a success. We went there with too few troops and an imprecise plan to maintain the peace, errors that a smart and determined enemy exploited fully. Despite delays and setbacks, there is a new government in place, democratically elected by Iraqis whose staggering turn-out numbers testify to their commitment to the process.
. . . My foray into Afghanistan was less positive. In fact, when I contacted the Army Public Affairs in Afghanistan, there was no response. Iraq is not a quagmire and might be a good ally some day, but Afghanistan is a stone-aged disaster. The Iraqis tend to value education, while Afghans value inertia, and while the progress in Iraq is rapid, obvious and palpable, Afghanistan is mostly a lawless giant hunting lodge where our Special Operations people stalk terrorists, but it’s like a managed preserve insuring that the hunters never run out of game — in this case, game that hunts back.
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