This chart above is not a plate of linguine or a Jackson Pollock. It is the military's counterinsurgency, or COIN, strategy for Afghanistan. Though it may seem daunting in terms of interpretation, one point is clear: we're not leaving there any time soon, as the administration acknowledged despite the president's initial talk of a pullout starting July 2011.
These convoluted strands inspired Steven Colbert's new board game, "Afghandyland," in which one is constantly instructed to "Go back to start" and in which "there's no way to win and no way to quit." Watch: