The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the U.S. military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.
In the spring, Obama outlined a broad new direction for the war that he said his predecessor had starved of attention and resources. He changed the military leadership on the ground, asked Congress for additional money and authorized more manpower. The administration has said that it expects the strategy -- still barely off the ground -- to show results in a year to 18 months.
This should be absolutely no surprise to our military leadership, in light of how adept the Taliban became at fighting the Russians, with covert US aid and instruction.
And a short memo to President Obama: you don't have a year to 18 months in Afghanistan. The public is exhausted with an 8 year military campaign which has been going nowhere.
And thinking Americans do understand precisely the reasons we are there; to install pipelines to control Eurasian oil, and protect the drug trade, from which so many profit so handsomely.