Thursday, December 13, 2012


This week theObama administration delivered to Congress its "Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afganistan" as required twice per year. The report covers the period 1 April through 30 September. It documents a stunning lack of progress. Only one of the Afgan army's 23 brigades is capable of operating independently wthout air or other military support from the United States or other NATO partners. Violence in Afganistan is higher than it was before the 2010 surge of American forces, the Taliban remains resiliant, and Afgan security forces' attacks on their US "partners" (green on blue attacks) remain a problem (there have been 37 in 2012 compared to 2 in 2007).

The Afgan government, the report states, suffers from "widespread corruption, limited human capacity, lack of access to rural areasdue to a lack of security, a lack of coordination between the central government and the Afgan provinces and districts, and an uneven distribution of power among the judicial, legislative, and executive branches." Afgan president Karzi recently blamed the United States for much of the corruption.

General John R. Allen, the senior US commander in Afganistan, is expected to recommend soon that US troop levels in Afganistan remain at 68,000 through the "fighting season" next fall to allow Afgan forces to strengthen before the US withdrawl currently scheduled for the end of 2014. After eleven years of US commitment, 2,146 US servicemembers lives, and almost three quarters of a trillion US taxpayer dollars, a reasonable question might be "What will be gained between now and the end of 2014, and at what cost?" Is tomorrow too late to leave?

1 comment:

  1. And because of the delay, my son has to do another tour, in country and under constant fire. It does make one wonder what the end game is.