As the worst April in the history of the decade-long war comes to an end, Pentagon officials are once again hyping the major “tangible progress” in Afghanistan. The latest report is even more positive than the November version, and no longer discusses the scope of Taliban influence nationwide, which the Pentagon insists is now “classified.”
The combination of bizarre claims of non-specific progress with rising violence are nothing new. This time however officials followed up within hours of the report’s release with a prediction that the violence was about to “spike” in a mjaor way.
Once again the spike in violence is being presented as proof of desperation among the insurgents. Officials even went so far as to declare that “the enemy can generate indiscriminate violence but he can’t succeed.” With the Taliban still able to kill record numbers of NATO troops, exactly in what sense progress is being made is completely unclear.
In fact the report, despite presenting everything in Afghanistan as going swimmingly, also cited a number of long-standing issues with training and recruiting Afghan security as reasons why the oft-promised July drawdown might be delayed.