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What Price Afghanistan?

Posted: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

"The narrative ... has been too negative."
So says Defense Secretary Robert Gates of political and press commentary about the war in Afghanistan. It reminds him of the pessimism of June 2007, before the Iraqi surge began to succeed, said Gates.

But the narrative is coming now not just from critics of the war but stalwart defenders. John McCain says the war effort could be headed for "crisis" and holds President Obama responsible for announcing a timetable for withdrawal starting next summer. And how optimistic can Americans be when, last month, in the ninth year of our longest war, the U.S. field commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said the Taliban have fought us to a draw. Eight years ago, the Taliban seemed finished. Since then, we have poured in scores of thousands of troops, spent $300 billion, lost 1, 000 soldiers and seen thousands more wounded. Yet, the Taliban have never been stronger or operated more broadly.

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