Pessimism Among US Spies on Afghan War

Taliban 'Resilient' Amid Government Corruption

Whenever the US military leadership talks about the decade-long occupation of Afghanistan, it sounds as though all is going swimmingly. Sure, there’s the occasional colonel who starts speaking out of turn about how bad things are, but mostly top officials are solid in their optimism.

Not so with the US intelligence community, which is offering extremely bleak assessments in public testimony to Congress, conceding that the situation is actually going extremely poorly.

DIA head Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess warned of “endemic corruption and persistent qualitative deficiencies in the army” as preventing serious security gains, adding that the Taliban “remains confident of eventual victory.”

Meanwhile, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that the military was angry at him for the release of the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan, saying “generally it was pessimistic” and questioned the survival of the Afghan government if the occupation forces ever leave.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of