Afghanistan Still Completely FUBAR

Another year, another NIE. And the intelligence community hasn’t changed its mind about the war in Afghanistan:

The U.S. intelligence community says in a secret new assessment that the war in Afghanistan is mired in stalemate, and warns that security gains from an increase in American troops have been undercut by pervasive corruption, incompetent governance and Taliban fighters operating from neighboring Pakistan, according to U.S. officials.

….The detailed document, known as an NIE, runs more than 100 pages and represents the consensus view of the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. Similar in tone to an NIE prepared a year ago, it challenges the Pentagon’s claim to have achieved lasting security gains in Taliban strongholds in southern Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials who have read or been briefed on its contents.

There has — literally — never been a year in which the American intelligence community has believed that we’re making serious progress in Afghanistan. And every year, the military has disagreed.

So far, the intelligence community has been right every time. Anyone care to take a guess about whether they’re right this time too?

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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