We may be at an inflection point in Iraq, but to some extent I’m more depressed right now about the situation in Central Asia. Most of our NATO partners in Afghanistan are not willing or able to commit the military resources necessary to defeat the Taliban, and apparently feel neither ashamed abut this nor pressured to follow through by the U.S. Pervez Musharraf’s retreat from North Waziristan has made this province a safe haven and operating base for the Taliban, endangering our forces in Afghanistan and stability in Pakistan (the latter being the opposite of what Musharraf expected). Hamid Karzai is trying mightily to call attention to the Afghan theater, even as American policymakers and others focus on Iraq. “Pakistan hopes to make slaves out of us, but we will not surrender,” Karzai said the other day.
There have been successful offensives in Afghanistan in the past couple of months, but much more effort, deployments, and investment seem to be needed – yesterday.