NATO: Don’t Judge Kandahar Offensive Until Next Summer

Year End Review of Afghan War to Be Blown Off Yet Again

Faced with record death tolls and record corruption, officials seem to be struggling with their efforts to credibly claim progress in the Afghan War. This is particularly troublesome for the military command facing long promised year end reviews, as a number of officials are coming forward anonymously to point out just how badly the war is going.

Last year such reviews were blown off on the basis of President Obama’s massive escalation of the war, but this year officials seem to be setting up the idea of blowing them off for their own sake. Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the second in command of NATO forces in Afghanistan, is leading the charge in that regard.

Speaking before reporters today, Maj. Gen. Carter insisted that it was impossible to call the Kandahar offensive a success (or more realistically a dismal failure) until at least next June, in effect claiming NATO’s centerpiece offensive for 2010, the grounds on which the war was supposed to be judge, shouldn’t even be considered in the year end reviews.

All summer, as the security situation got worse and worse. officials were forever admonishing war weary Americans that “progress” was just around the bend. Another year come and gone, and the situation worse than ever, “the bend” was never reached and people are still being urged to be patient.

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.