By spring 2013, "our troops will have a different mission - training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty."
"Afghanistan (has) a long-term partner in the United States of America."
It's Washington's longest war. Iraq and Afghanistan are its most costly ones.
Iraq boils out of sight and mind. Afghanistan rages. Experts agree. The war was lost years ago. It continues. Why US officials don't explain.
A previous article discussed Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis. He assessed conditions accurately. His 84-page unclassified report called them disastrous.
"How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding," he asked? His report's opening comments said:
"Senior ranking U.S. military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable."
"This deception has damaged America's credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan."
His classified report was more explicit.
"If the public had access to these classified reports," he explained, "they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is actually true behind the scenes."
"It would be illegal for me to discuss, use, or cite classified material in an open venue, and thus I will not do so."
He traveled thousands of miles throughout the country. He spoke to US commanders, subordinates, and low-ranking soldiers. He talked at length with Afghan security officials, civilians and village elders.
What he learned bore no resemblance to rosy scenario official accounts. Insurgent forces control "virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a US or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base."
Everywhere he visited, "the tactical situation was bad to abysmal."