I think there was enough interest that I'll continue this one a second week. Explanation here.
Lots of stuff to consider this week...I've already said that I think the White House CoS is important, and we had two Fed nominees finally confirmed, and all sorts of other things that Congress did or failed to do on their way out of town. I'll stick, however, with Afghanistan. Two major pieces of news. The Kandahar operations reportedly picked up after stalling over the summer. That it moved ahead seems important to me, and obviously (well, at least to me), how it goes is terribly important. Meanwhile, coalition deaths were actually down a bit in September, the first year-to-year decrease since June '09. There were also additional reports about possible future deals with the Taliban, and a lot of news out of Pakistan, as well. My thoroughly amateur reading is that we're at or coming to a decision point there, with multiple possible future directions, and that the events of the week that just passed and the next month or so are going to do a lot to push things one way or another. One question, of course, is what long-term plans the administration has. For that, I'd recommend Fred Kaplan's reading of the Bob Woodward book.
So that's what I thought mattered. What do you think?