Dire Report: Not Much Changed But The Reporting
The Washington Post headline reads. "National Security Team Delivers Grim Appraisal of Afghanistan War. First of all, it is not as if this is a sudden change at the White House present only since January 20, 2008. Hardly. The appraisals of Afghanistan have been less than encouraging, to say the least, for some time. That is why, mind you, General David Petraeus currently runs the theater from CENTCOM command. But there is, nonetheless, what appears in the media as a sudden new narrative building effort afoot to some degree. In reality, nothing much has changed about Afghan assessments but the reporting.
President Obama's national security team gave a dire assessment Sunday of the war in Afghanistan, with one official 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 America and its NATO allies, to counter the increasing strength of the Taliban and warlords opposed to the central government in Kabul. 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 C. Holbrooke, the State Department's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told attendees at 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."
I am officially on board with Jules Crittenden's observation.
"Yeah, well. That's pretty much what they ... Holbrooke in particular ... said about Iraq."
There's much more to be said and much more context to be provided, but for now, I felt compelled to at least drop that note to readers this Monday.
In the absence of available time, a quick scan of my notes made via Twitter this weekend provides some additional context for the time being. Feel free to click over and follow my Twitter feed, which is necessarily more active during night hours.