Three months ago, General McChrystal announced a major offense in Kandahar aimed at weakening the Taliban and making the area secure. As late as a few weeks ago, he boasted of “progress” in the fight even though reports indicated the Taliban was as strong as ever in the area. Over the weekend, McChyrstal confessed that “nobody is winning” and he could only promise there was need to keep up the pressure despite the fact no evidence is apparent that American and NATO casualties have resulted in destroying the Taliban. A leaked memo from US Ambassador to Afghanistan, General Karl Eikenberry, clearly explained the problem. Even as President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were hosting and praising President Karzai, the memo stated Karzai was “not an adequate strategic partner” and was using foreign troops to maintain his power.
It is clear that most Afghans do not like the Taliban, but they dislike their government even more. As Eikenberry notes, the “problem is not that the Taliban is strong, but that their government is so weak.” Vietnam, deju?