Afghanistan Victory Not in Sight

By James Joyner

In a speech to the Atlantic Council this week, Major General John Toolan, just returned from a year commanding NATO forces in southwestern Afghanistan, both highlighted the tremendous progress coalition forces have made since the beginning of the Afghan surge and candidly acknowledged how much work remains to be done.

Toolan was, for the most part, dismissive of the Taliban’s strength, which has undoubtedly been greatly diminished by the last two years of heavy “kinetic” operations against it. As a result, Toolan explained, coalition forces had become “the home team” while the Taliban had become “the visiting team,” having to hide across the Pakistan border and “sneak in” to former strongholds like Marja and Hellmand Province under the cover of darkness.

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