New National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan: War Still a Stalemate

Classified Data Refutes Pentagon Claims War Is Going Well

The Obama Administration’s repeated claims that the occupation of Afghanistan is going swimmingly and that major progress is being made on the ground has once again run into a serious obstacle: reality.

This time it is a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan, which warns that the so-called gains have been undercut by “pervasive corruption” and that the war is still essentially a stalemate.

Of course, this pesky NIE is classified, and beyond the occasional leak of small portions of it, we will likely never see the full details of just how badly the war is going. This is in strong contrast to the fact-light statements of the Pentagon, which not only are made in public but are repeated ad nauseam.

The Obama Administration is continuing to hype possible reconciliation talks with the Taliban as a possible route to ending the decade-long occupation. Even the prospects of this working appear to be at odds with what we know of the NIE, which says the Taliban still believe they will eventually win the war and end up ruling the whole nation.

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.