The Global Report

Failing in Afghanistan successfully

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While we have been fixated on successive Arab breakthroughs and victories against tyranny and extremism, Washington is failing miserably but discreetly in Afghanistan.

The American media's one-obsession-at-a-time coverage of global affairs might have put the spotlight on President Obama's slow and poor reaction to the breathtaking developments starting in Tunisia and Egypt. But they spared him embarrassing questions about continued escalation and deaths in Afghanistan.

In spite of its international coalition, multiple strategies, hundreds of billions of dollars, and a surge of tens of thousands of troops, the US is unable to conclude its longest war yet or at least reverse its trend.

Recent "reports" from the war front have been of two kinds. Some official or analytical in nature and heavily circulated in Washington portray a war going terribly well. On the other hand, hard news from the ground tell a story of US fatigue, backtracking and tactical withdrawals or redeployments which do not bode well for defeating the Taliban or forcing them to the negotiations' table.

For example, while the US military's decision to withdraw from the Pech valley was justified on tactical need to redeploy troops for the task of "protecting the population", keen observers saw it as a humiliating retreat from what the Pentagon previously called a very strategic position and sacrificed some hundred soldiers defending it.

Likewise, strategic analysts close to the administration speak triumphantly of US surge and hi-tech firepower inflicting terrible cost on the Taliban, killing many insurgents and driving many more from their sanctuaries.

But news from the war front show the Taliban unrelenting, mounting counterattacks and escalating the war especially in areas where the US has "surged" its troops. And while the majority of the 400 Afghan districts are "calmer", they remain mostly out of Kabul's control.

Sources: Al Jazeera

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