Civilian-military relationships, and Afghan development projects

This post came up back on June 25th, from the Combined Arms Center’s blog.  Lt. General Caslen makes some thoughtful observations on civilian-military relationships, especially in the aftermath of the McChrystal affair, and he also provides links to files and documents of topical interest.  His opinion, shared by most of the commentators on the post, is that the above incident does not constitute a crisis, but is certainly an opportunity for everyone to learn something.  I have to agree.

On a tangentially related topic, NPR posted a short story a couple days ago concerning the civic, agricultural, economic and infrastructure development programs in Afghanistan, the largest of which is the National Solidarity Program, directed by the Kabul government.  My feeling is that these generally don’t receive the type of publicity which our armed forces and NATO allies receive.  I’m not completely sold on the effectiveness of these projects (effectiveness in this case = stable pro-Western government and civic structures = peaceful nation not at war with itself or NATO.  And yes, I know that this definition could be critiqued on any number of grounds).  But apparently they’re pretty popular.