President Obama told the American people our goals in Afghanistan were not to transform that nation into “a model Jeffersonian democracy,” but to accomplish more modest goals of not allowing “terrorists to operate from this region. Don’t allow them to create training camps and to join attacks against the US homeland with impunity.” Even as he spoke on the first day of August, monthly totals for July indicate it was the deadliest period for American and NATO soldiers. On one hand, Obama insists troops will begin leaving Afghanistan next year, while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists only a small number will be headed home next summer. “My personal opinion is that drawdown early on will be of fairly limited numbers.” In other words, we are leaving Afghanistan, although we are not actually leaving Afghanistan, and to be frank, neither the president or anyone else really knows when, or if, we are leaving the great land of Afghanistan.
Gates insists “I don’t think that the Taliban are stronger than they’ve been since 2001 is news.” Of course not, everyone knows they ARE getting stronger. Admiral Mullen claims “the strategies are right” as though a strategy which results in ever higher deaths can be “right.” Among the real problems in Afghanistan is the absence of a language that speaks the truth.