The endless upbeat assessments from Pentagon and administration officials about the occupation of Afghanistan took a nasty hit today, when the chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees agreed that the Taliban is actually stronger now than they were when Obama announced his massive escalation of the war in late 2009.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) said not only that was the Taliban stronger, but that a growing number of new recruits from Pakistan meant the insurgency “will not necessarily burn out.” Rep. Mike Rogers (R – MI) concurred.
Rogers then went on to blast the Obama Administration for attempts to negotiate with the Taliban, as well as for setting a date for ending the occupation (tentatively 2024 after the president signed a pact last week), saying it would deny the US a “victory” in the war.
Obama announced the 2009 escalation after months of behind-the-scenes debate with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and presented it to the American public as a very temporary surge meant to facilitate an end to the war (supposedly by 2012). Since the end of the war has been pushed back twice since then, and the Taliban is stronger than before, it is safe to conclude the strategy, as with so many others, is a disastrous failure.
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