Now astute readers, what do you think the answer is? Any guesses? Maybe a regional solution? Come on, I think you can guess. Clarke says, "There is, but only by sending in MORE TROOPS, and keeping them there for a while...."
Now that is a smart idea, as the Soviets discovered. Clarke goes on to explain how the problem is also with Pakistan that and US unilateral action without Pakistani permission makes sense because, "any President has to act that way to protect the lives of Americans."
As Barnett Rubin notes in a post on Afghanistan, this flattening of the complex situation in Afghanistan to a rather stupid either/or proposition is common in the US media, but doesn't do anything to inform people, or suggest a way out of the morass of Afghanistan:
"As usual, the Times article presented the alternatives as do nothing, Predator missile strikes, or invasion by U.S. Special Forces, without any discussion of competing Pakistani and Pashtun political agendas for the tribal agencies. A successful and sustainable strategy has to be carried out together with allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, within a political framework that they support."