Instead of imitating our betters and faffing about in central Asia, perhaps we might venture over to Defense and Freedom and talk about the larger questions of:
1. What are "national interests"?
2. How do nations define them? How does the U.S., circa 2010, define them?
3. Is the U.S. doing a good job of defining these, and, once defined, a good job of addressing them?
Sound like a topic worth kicking about.