By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2010, 2:15pm PT  

Tom Ricks, author of the best-sellers Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005 and The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, on the June 27, 2010 Meet the Press after arguing to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) that leaving Afghanistan now would lead to an "endless war" ("I think if you want an endless war, Congresswoman, leave Afghanistan right now, and you'll find us having to go after al-Qaeda again and again there for decades."):

DAVID GREGORY: Twenty seconds, Tom. How does it end?

TOM RICKS: I don't think it does. I think we have landed in the middle of the Middle East, for better or worse, in a way that none of us expected us to. I think the war in Afghanistan was made much worse by the distracting war in Iraq, which never should have happened. But we are dealing with phenomena in the Middle East that's going to be crucial to this country as long as we're dependent on Middle East oil. So the best exit strategy I can think of is emphasize alternative fuels.

Um, yeah. Bingo. (On the "alternative fuels" part, not the 'can't leave now' part.)