During the recent election cycle in the U.S. the war in Afghanistan was hardly mentioned, an afterthought apparently for those running for office and equally so for the American public. War may be hell, but since most Americans are safely away from the maelstrom it's pretty much out of sight and out of mind.
So as not to arouse our mostly somnambulant public too harshly, here's the latest on that far away and removed conflict.
NATO, with the U.S. taking the lead role just announced this weekend that the war in Afghanistan will continue with its troops into 2014. By then, according to this "august" body, enough Afghan troops will be trained and ready to provide security and defend the country on its own thus ending the need for NATO led combat operations. After 2014 NATO would remain only in a training and advisory capacity.
Meanwhile "Patraeus and Company" are doing really well authorizing drone and targeted nighttime raids in Afghan villages and killing insurgent leaders (this of course with a minimum of "collateral damage" to sleeping, frightened and innocent villagers).
The Taliban, those pesky insurgents (the group that morphed into being the enemy when al Qaeda departed the country for more fertile grounds in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and beyond) responded to the NATO announcement with its own communique' saying, "The real solution of the Afghan issues lies in the withdrawal of foreign forces, that Afghans are not ready to tolerate foreign invasion and occupation of their country."
The ugly truth lies closer to what the Taliban is saying than anything spouted from the likes of General Patraeus, Admiral Mullen and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or what any other American official has to say.
The Afghan war is the Viet Nam war Redux.
Back in the late 1960's and early 70's we heard the same type of rosy pronouncements about how we're winning that war, that our efforts are succeeding in winning the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, pacifying the countryside even though sometimes, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it", (this the quote from the commander of U.S. troops in that other far away war (quagmire) that we eventually gave up on when it finally hit home to our "leaders" back then the war couldn't be won).
The same fate lies for our current crop of "leaders" in this misbegotten misadventure in Afghanistan.
The Taliban are correct in saying when you invade and occupy another country the indigenous inhabitants don't take it too kindly and resist. And when those who take up arms against the invader come from the major portion of the population they will outlast the intruder who will eventually tire of his futile effort and leave the country,
The Afghans like the Vietnamese before them will succeed in repelling the unwanted invader however long it takes. So they fight on (something you and I would do if our country was invaded and occupied by an unwanted foreign intruder). Afghanistan is their country and they have nowhere else to go. And that my dear friends say it all.
 "Taliban derides NATO plan", by Laura King, "The Baltimore Sun", November 22, 2010.