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Iconoclastic thinking 20, May 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Central Asia.
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I have been a fan of John Mueller for a long time. Indeed, I tried (and failed miserably) to emulate his work in a dissertation of mine. Mueller is that rare thing in hyperbole-ridden the international politics/security discourse: a calm, rational, empirical, unflappable and iconoclastic analyst. In 2006, he wrote an excellent essay for Foreign Affairs which took the American Government, most academics along with mainstream thought to task over the implicitly accepted notion that America was in imminent danger from a terrorist attack. This was, and indeed still is, a difficult line to take. In the May 2009 edition of Foreign Affairs he uses that same kind of critical view-point to ask serious questions about Afghanistan. Would it immediately revert to an Al Qaeda strong hold if Western forces withdrew immediately? Mueller thinks not for a host of persuasive reasons that I don’t quite have time to go into, leaving you the only option of reading for yourself