U.S. Officials Offer Dismal Review of War in Afghanistan
National Security Team Says More Troops From NATO Allies Are Necessary
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 8, 2009; 9:51 AM
MUNICH, Feb. 8 — President Obama’s national security team gave a dire assessment Sunday of the war in Afghanistan, with one member calling it a challenge “much tougher than Iraq” and others hinting that it could take years to turn around.
U.S. officials said more troops were urgently needed, both from the United States and its NATO allies, to counter the increasing strength of the Taliban and other warlords opposed to the central government in Kabul.
But they also said new approaches were needed to untangle an inefficient and conflicting array of civilian-aid programs that have wasted billions of dollars.
“NATO’s future is on the line here,” Richard Holbrooke, the State Department’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told an international security conference here. “It’s going to be a long, difficult struggle. In my view, it’s going to be much tougher than Iraq.”
Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, said the war in Afghanistan “has deteriorated markedly in the past two years” and warned of a “downward spiral of security.”
Well, there you have it.
Fresh from flipping the coin at the SuperBowl, General Petraeus has called the play 4th down and 47 yards to go.
We went there to punish (and presumably kill) Osama bin Laden and then stayed on to hold off the Taliban, support an insupportable democracy and make the mistakes that a thousand years of invaders have made in Afghanistan. All of them, every single one–each of them their historic time’s major powers–were defeated and sent home in body-bags or simply cut up for meat where they lay.
Bin Laden and what remains of al Qaeda is in Pakistan.
Let’s quit and go home. How can any sane man advocate another single death or dismemberment in the name of a lost war?