During the past eight years of American military involvement in Afghanistan, we repeatedly heard from George Bush that everything was OK and soon the enemy would be destroyed. General David Petraeus finally ushered in a new era by bluntly telling the truth. He admitted the number of attacks in Afghanistan the past few weeks was the highest since the war began eight long years ago. “But, there is no question the situation has deteriorated over the course of the past two years in particular and difficult times are ahead.” The era of Bushism and Cheneyism is over, the truth is finally out– there is no easy road ahead. American troops are pushing the fight into rural areas in order to make contact with the Taliban in order to have direct combat rather than allow them to continually place bombs on roads and engage in hit and run activities.
It will be a rough summer and the number of American casualties will rise. There will be renewed efforts to use air power in such a manner as to avoid killing civilians and recruiting rural areas into the Taliban. The Afghanistan pattern most probably will not follow what happened during the surge in Iraq– it will be slower to reveal signs of progress. That is the truth.