Even after insulting
So he said during a meeting of 2,000 Afghan tribal elders last weekend. He laid down a few conditions but also managed to admit his true motivation.
"We will need international aid." Of course! Ninety percent of the government's budget is derived from foreign aid. And, certainly, an equal amount of Karzai's personal fortune is taken from the same source.
That hasn't happen during eight years of war in
This month, Maj. Gen.
All Fuller said was what most everyone was thinking: "We just gave you
Considering what has happened since the Fuller contretemps, the episode is just one in a melange of incidents that show how far awry this war has gone. Just one example: An Afghan soldier opened fire on an Australian troops who were training him -- an attack strikingly similar to one that killed three Western trainers just last month.
When I was working in
So it goes. Ten years into this war, nothing changes, nothing improves. It's no wonder military officers are losing patience.
Maintaining military discipline "over a 10-year period has really tested" American officers, particularly when they are defending "a leader who routinely insults their efforts," a former senior American military officer told me. He served in
"That's starting to wear our troops down."
The Vietnam War dragged on for more than eight years. And as has often been noted,
After 12 Americans died in a suicide bombing in
Eikenberry let him have it.
"When Americans, who are serving in your country at great cost -- in terms of life and treasure -- hear themselves compared with occupiers, are told that they are only here to advance their own interest and likened to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people," the ambassador said, "my people, in turn, are filled with confusion and grow weary of our effort here."
General Fuller had it right. Why are we fighting for people who disdain us -- and tell the entire world how dastardly they think we are? After a decade, after more than 1,700 American soldiers have died and nearly
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