Next Stop: Kandahar
There's not much reason for hope in Afghanistan.
Michael Cohen is feeling pretty pessimistic about the next stage of the war in Afghanistan:
All the warning signs about operations in Kandahar are blinking red. We have a civilian population that fears NATO intervention and is broadly sympathetic with the Taliban; we have a US military untrained in the ways of counter-insurgency and chafing at restrictive ROEs; we have an Afghan government that is hardly supportive of the mission and with Karzai's drug-dealing brother in charge of Kandahar not terribly interested in good governance and ending corruption; and of course we have a vicious insurgent force more than happy to up the ante by murdering innocent civilians and using mosques as execution chambers.
Read the whole thing for the details that provoked this conclusion. I hope that Cohen and I are both wrong, but I sure have found it difficult to find anything lately that makes me hopeful about the possibility of success in Afghanistan. I won't be at all surprised if the headlines coming out of there ten years from now look pretty much the same as they do today.