Thursday, October 09, 2008

Spot, change the subject!

We're tired of all the gloom and doom about the economy.

All right grasshopper. We'll talk about something else. Instead of bad news about the economy, how about some bad news about Afghanistan?

Isn't there any good news?

Undoubtedly, but nobody comes here for good news.


Anyway, Afghanistan is slip-sliding away:

WASHINGTON — A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.

The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence by militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from havens in Pakistan.

The report, a nearly completed version of a National Intelligence Estimate, is set to be finished after the November elections and will be the most comprehensive American assessment in years on the situation in Afghanistan. Its conclusions represent a harsh verdict on decision-making in the Bush administration, which in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks made Afghanistan the central focus of a global campaign against terrorism.

The report isn't coming out until after the election?

It seems have sort of leaked out, hasn't it, grasshopper. The New York Times article continues:

The Bush administration has initiated a major review of its Afghanistan policy and has decided to send additional troops to the country. The downward slide in the security situation in Afghanistan has also become an issue in the presidential campaign, along with questions about whether the White House emphasis in recent years on the war in Iraq has been misplaced.

Inside the government, reports issued by the Central Intelligence Agency for more than two years have chronicled the worsening violence and rampant corruption inside Afghanistan, and some in the agency say they believe that it has taken the White House too long to respond to the warnings.

But it isn't just those defeatists at the CIA who think that Afghanistan is circling the drain:

Don't tell Obama and McCain, but the war they are both counting on to make their bones as commander-in-chief -- the "good war" in Afghanistan, which both men have pledged to expand -- is already lost. Their joint strategy of pouring more troops, tanks, missiles and planes into the roaring fire -- not to mention their intention to spread the war into Pakistan -- will only lead to disaster.

Who says so? America's biggest ally in the Afghan adventure: Great Britain. This week, two top figures in the British effort in Afghanistan -- Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, UK ambassador to Kabul, and Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, the senior British military commander in Afghanistan -- both said that the war was "unwinnable," and that continuing the current level of military operations there, much less expanding it, was a strategy "doomed to fail."

Yikes! Shouldn't we tell somebody, Spotty?

We just did, grasshopper.

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