Phrases You Really Don't Want to Hear
From Richard Holbrooke on how to gauge success in Afghanistan:
"You'll know it when you see it."
In fairness, click the link to read about the various metrics and aid programs and whatnot that Holbrooke's team uses and supports. That said, though, I have a sinking feeling that when all's said and done, that offhand comment represents our real state of knowledge depressingly well.