Privately Hopeless: Afghan War Going Disastrously

Claims of Progress End When the Cameras Turn Off

Hope springs eternal in Afghanistan, as US and NATO officials continually praise the conflict and claim major shifts in momentum. At least when they’re being interviewed, but when the camera is off the rhetoric gives way to reality.

Such is the lesson of the WikiLeaks cables, as a new cable shows war enthusiast and Australian FM Kevin Rudd privately condemning the war and the “hopeless” training mission that is supposed to provide cover for an eventual pullout (some decades from now).

Rudd is far from the first to be outed as a pessimist in the WikiLeaks cables, as EU President Van Rompuy told the US plainly that the war is “unwinnable” and that European troops are just humoring the US in continuing the occupation.

The Afghan War increasingly gives the appearance of having two sets of books kept on it, with comments and reports meant for public consumption forever predicting a victory that, privately, no one thinks can happen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of