Marcy Wheeler got it right last week, as she points out some irony with respect to the U.S. position on Afghanistan:
As the US stumbles around, trying to find its way out of a country it has occupied for over ten years, the path "forward" remains as murky as ever. Just under two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was chosen as the point person for introducing the new US catchphrase "fight, talk, build" that is meant to describe US strategy in the region. As I noted at the time, the US seemed to completely miss the irony of using the country's chief diplomat to introduce a new strategy that is based on the concept of shoot first and ask questions later.
That bit at the beginning should not be overlooked: the success of the "fight, talk, build" strategy "depends on a positive outcome for several variables that currently appear headed in the wrong direction." Mechanisms for reversing the current direction of these variables are not presented in the article.
That's OK, we can just hope that things will kinda sorta get better, can't we? Then Marcy in her perceptive way pulls back the veil just a bit more:
While the Obama administration begins to think about preparing to maybe get the Pentagon perhaps to agree to withdraw a few more troops out of Afghanistan, we see the terrain being softened a bit more for the eventual realization that all of the US efforts and investments in "training" Afghan forces are destined for failure. It appears from this article that David Petraeus, who is touted in the press as responsible for training when it is described as being successful, will escape blame for the failure in Afghanistan because William Caldwell is described in the article as having "overseen all NATO training in Afghanistan for the past two years". In true Petraeus fashion, the slate for the previous eight years is not just wiped clean, but ceases to exist. Petraeus' name does not appear in the article.
Prospects for more and more dead and maimed improve as our reputation circles the bowl....