Afghanistan: Positive US Spin Ignores Realities on the Ground
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta meets with Afghan President Harmid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, December 14, 2011. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)
December 16, 2011
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
The U.S. commitment to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 has been accompanied by optimistic rhetoric, but the ability of Afghan security forces to defend against insurgents without NATO is seriously in question and the Taliban is expected to regain its strength not long after the last of the NATO troops pull out. The mission also leaves in its wake a strong resentment toward foreign troops and toward the corrupt government led by President Hamid Karzai. The diminishing U.S. presence in Afghanistan will only highlight deficiencies in Karzai’s government and will challenge Afghan forces as they struggle to maintain order.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that the United States is “winning” in Afghanistan, during his visit to the country this week. He later used more cautious terminology about “making significant progress,” and “going in the right direction.” Panetta made the statements a day after General John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, said that U.S. forces will institute a major shift in operations next year, moving to an advisory role rather than a fighting force to improve the skills of the Afghan army and begin extracting U.S. forces from combat. 

Comments or questions about this article? Click here to contact us.
Login or Create New Account
Email Address:
New to LIGNET? Create New Account
GET FREE Intelligence Reports

LIGNET provides you with actionable intelligence and in-depth analyses from seasoned insiders including senior CIA officials, presidential advisors, ambassadors, and more.

Sign Up for
FREE Intelligence Reports!
Join Now
Already have an account?
Click here to log in.

Join Now
Knowledge is Power
Only if You Access it!
Upgrade to a full access account and get the official CIA World Fact Book 2014 FREE!
Upgrade Now
FREE CIA World Factbook 2013
What is LIGNET?
Powered by Newsmax
LIGNET is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Langley Intelligence Group Network is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.