Afghanistan: Not deteriorating!
I still will tell you the situation in Afghanistan is serious, I do not say now it is deteriorating. We [made] significant progress in setting conditions in 2009 and we will make real progress in 2010.
Put another way, it increasingly seems the insurgency is loosing momentum. And in a counter-insurgency fight, momentum is a Big Deal.
A friend of mine talks about the country as if it was a bowling ball, with the insurgents as a bunch of ants trying to move the ball backward and us – Afghans and Coalition members alike – as ants trying to move it forward. For a while, the momentum was with the insurgents. But the bowling ball is slowing, and soon we may even be able to turn it around. Which is making many insurgents think VERY seriously about reconciliation. The alternative (being crushed like an ant by a bowling ball) is looking less and less appealing to them by the day…
I’m not trying to overstate this, we – both Afghans and the International Community – still have a LONG way to go. Or, as GEN McChrystal says,
I am not prepared to say we are winning, but I am confident we will see significant progress.
Bottom line: Victory is far from inevitable. And WAY too many ants will die in the process of stopping and then turning the bowling ball that is Afghanistan. But the momentum is shifting…
* Photo by Ismail Eren, from DeviantArt
** Photo by Pietro Calogero, from his blog