Naval Postgraduate School Professor Praises Fitzgerald and Gould

August 12th, 2010

“Fitzgerald and Gould have consistently raised the difficult questions and inconvenient truths about western engagement in Afghanistan. While many analysts and observers have attempted to wish a reality on a grim and tragic situation in Afghanistan, Fitzgerald and Gould have systematically dug through the archives and historical record with integrity and foresight to reveal a series of misguided strategies and approaches that have contributed to what has become a tragic quagmire in Afghanistan. I suspect that many of their assessments while presently viewed as controversial and contentious, will eventually be considered conventional wisdom.”

Professor Thomas Johnson, Department of National Security Affairs and Director, Program for Culture and Conflict Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California

At a critical turning point in the war in Afghanistan, Naval Postgraduate School Professor of National Security Affairs Thomas Johnson has been tapped to be the senior political aide and counterinsurgency adviser to Canadian Brig. Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canadian commander of Task Force Kandahar — ground zero for the key summer campaign against the Taliban.

“General Vance contacted me shortly after he was selected by Ottawa in early June to return to Afghanistan as Commander of Canadian Forces replacing Brig. Gen. Daniel Ménard who was relieved of command, and asked if I would be willing to take on this assignment through the completion of his deployment,” Johnson said before a week-long trip due to land him in Afghanistan Aug. 10. “There’s no question this is a critical time, and the Canadian effort is central to the success of U.S. and NATO efforts in the country.”

As Johnson finalized his trip preparations, President Obama affirmed the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq and Congress voted an additional $33 billion in war funding for Afghanistan, where July’s casualties reached an all-time high. Johnson’s new advisory role also comes in the wake of the top U.S. military commander’s replacement; a massive leak of classified war documents; the Netherlands becoming the first NATO country to end its combat mission in the country; the president of Pakistan stating the international community is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people; and a mutilated Afghan girl on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan.”           Read more

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