Petraeus: Afghan Situation ‘Fragile and Reversible’

Insists Taliban's Momentum Reversed Despite Soaring Death Tolls

Though one wouldn’t know it by looking at the soaring death tolls in the nation, General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that the Taliban’s momentum has been reversed in some parts of Afghanistan.

This sparked inevitable questions about when, or indeed if, the war will ever actually end. The short answer is no. The long answer, Petraeus told Congress, was that the situation is “fragile and reversible,” and something about 9/11.

If the comments sound familiar, it is because this was the exact same line General Petraeus used in 2007 when explaining to the American public that the Iraq war had to continue for many, many more years.

The popularity of the Afghan War is plummeting, as the conflict nears its tenth anniversary later this year. The newest poll, released Tuesday by Washington Post/ABC News, shows that 64% of Americans believe the war has not been worth fighting. Though the administration has made much of a trivial pullout of non-combat troops in July, most officials seem to agree that the war will last well beyond 2014.

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.