As the right continues to insist that we are winning in Iraq despite little supporting evidence, we are quietly losing the war against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Matthew Yglesias and Think Progress both provide commentary on a National Security Council report which admits that we are not meeting our strategic goals in Afghanistan, and that the Taliban is getting stronger even as the Karzai government is weakening.
Why are we losing? There are several reasons. Chief among them is our distraction in Iraq, a distraction that should never have occurred. It’s hard to win one war when the entire nation from the government to the average joe is focused on another. Another reason we’re losing is because – I know this may come as a surprise – the Bush administration is inept. The administration either can’t or won’t deal with the underlying problems in Afghanistan, most of which lead back to Pakistan and President Musharraf’s failed policies.
Until we wrap up in Iraq and redouble our efforts in Afghanistan, and until national attention turns back to winning the real war on terror, we can expect that more of Afghanistan will end up back under the control of the Taliban. This is the real national security issue of our day and it’s one that politicians on both the left and the right need to start focusing on.