Pentagon Predicts Even Worse Violence in Afghan Fall

Aim for 'Gains' by End of Year Look Increasingly Unlikely

When President Obama presented the American public with the “McChrystal Plan” last December, a massive escalation of the Afghan War, with the understanding that it would turn the failing war around and lead to a drawdown in July 2011.

President Obama has, of course, already disavowed that drawdown date, and now it seems the next victim is the promise of progress, as Pentagon officials concede that the record violence in the Summer is going to give way to even worse violence in the Fall.

This should have been predictable, as previous escalations of the war only netted worsening violence and calls for further escalations. So far Gen. Petraeus, just having taken over the disastrous conflict, has avoided asking for even more troops, at least for now, but he is said to be quietly pressing for more time, and further downplaying expectations of progress any time soon.

And while violence will almost certainly decline over the winter, as it always does in a nation with heavy snowfall and no infrastructure, this will be no measure of progress for the war, meaning the decision to abandon the “end of the year” progress must push the date back to at least next summer. If the war continues the way it has been, the examination of the war then, if it happens at all, will be negative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.