Gates: Spring Offensive a Test for NATO ‘Progress’ in Afghanistan

Even Worse Violence Predicted in Spring

Speaking today during a tour of Afghanistan, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned today that as winter fades we will see another increase in the already record level of violence, and that this will be a major test for the “progress” in the war.

I do feel like the pieces are coming together,” insisted Gates, and indeed his comments are in keeping with repeated administration claims that the record level of violence proves the war is going better, and that the Taliban is getting desperate.

Which of course is a major concern as the claim has been maintained for years, and always comes with the promise of some future drop in violence which never comes. The record death tolls seem to be fueling the administration’s confidence, and its a feeling that they expect to have for quite some time.

Which of course isn’t the real reason for Gates’ visit to Afghanistan. Rather, he was in Afghanistan to be the next guy to apologize for the killing of nine children last week in the Kunduz Province, killed by a US attack helicopter while gathering firewood. This too seems to be a progress metric the administration would like to forget.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.