nyt today:

With the surge of American troops over and the Taliban still a potent threat, American generals and civilian officials acknowledge that they have all but written off what was once one of the cornerstones of their strategy to end the war here: battering the Taliban into a peace deal.

The once ambitious American plans for ending the war are now being replaced by the far more modest goal of setting the stage for the Afghans to work out a deal among themselves in the years after most Western forces depart, and to ensure Pakistan is on board with any eventual settlement. Military and diplomatic officials here and in Washington said that despite attempts to engage directly with Taliban leaders this year, they now expect that any significant progress will come only after 2014, once the bulk of NATO troops have left.

The failure to broker meaningful talks with the Taliban underscores the fragility of the gains claimed during the surge of American troops ordered by President Obama in 2009. The 30,000 extra troops won back territory held by the Taliban, but by nearly all estimates failed to deal a crippling blow.

Critics of the Obama administration say the United States also weakened its own hand by agreeing to the 2014 deadline for its own involvement in combat operations, voluntarily ceding the prize the Taliban has been seeking for over a decade. The Obama administration defends the deadline as crucial to persuading the Afghan government and military to assume full responsibility for the country, and politically necessary for Americans weary of what has already become the country’s longest war.

With the end of this year’s fighting season, the Taliban have weathered the biggest push the American-led coalition is going to make against them. A third of all American forces left by this month, and more of the 68,000 remaining may leave next year, with the goal that only a residual force of trainers and special operations troops will remain by the end of 2014.

Bringing Pakistan into the search for Taliban contacts is also an uncertain strategy, American officials said. The details of the new vetting committee have yet to be worked out, and “if we are depending on Pakistan, it comes with an asterisk,” one of the officials said. “We never know whether they will see it through.”

only one clueless commander in chief could count on the taliban in the first place

the same who still insists on negotiating with iran

we are losing OBAMA'S WAR---on the ground, in negotiations, in the afghanization strategy

US suspends joint military operations with Afghanistan after attacks | guardian

Green on blue attacks to remain signature of Afghan war - Yahoo! News

you can't fight a war with your head buried

Insider Attacks Don't Threaten U.S. Strategy, Allen Says - Businessweek

denial, apology, retreat---obama/clinton 2012

it is precisely this ostrich-like self delusion that leads to major nidal hasan, benghazi, cairo, a nuclear iran

the 2000th american died in OBAMA'S WAR this weekend

US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000 after 11 years of war - Yahoo! News

4 were killed yesterday, one today

Afghanistan bomber kills 14, including 3 Americans - seattlepi

Afghanistan bomb blast kills U.S. soldier - latimes

for what?

just to get us thru nov 6?

the only good move obama has made in the field of foreign policy is the assassination of ubl---and he squandered much of that gain by leaking the details to the press for cheap political gain

Secretary Gates’s STFU Policy - ABC News

obama's gotta go