Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, reporting back from a trip to Afghanistan, comes to an interesting if contradictory conclusion:
The President's Afghanistan Strategy Speech at West Point was coherent, logical, and sincere. It was the end result of a very deliberative and thoughtful analytical review of the situation in Afghanistan and our several unpalatable options. ... This was not a speech on military strategy. We are unlikely to achieve our political and military goals in 18 months. This will inevitably become a three to ten year strategy to build a viable Afghan state with their own security force that can allow us to withdraw. It may well cost us an additional $300 billion and we are likely to suffer thousands more US casualties.
Ai yi yi.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.