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The late Richard Holbrooke spent his last breath pleading for an end to the war in Afghanistan. The Red Cross released a report this week saying conditions in Afghanistan are at their worst in 30 years. Now comes two "National Intelligence Estimates" leaked to the New York Times that confirm our worst fears about our occupation of that country.
The NIEs claim there is limited chance of success in Afghanistan unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating with seeming impunity from safe havens along their porous border, something the government in Islamabad has been dragging its feet on for years.
According to CBS News,
"Military officials took immediate steps to downgrade the NIEs findings, the Times reports. Military intelligence commanders have traditionally been somewhat hostile to their domestic counterparts, even as they work together closely in the Afghan theater, referring to them as armchair quarterbacks who never spend time in the field. Regardless, many military commanders could not tell the Times the findings in the NIE were inaccurate."
Following news of his death, President Obama paid homage to Richard Holbrooke, describing him as "a true giant of American foreign policy who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace." Holbrooke deserves credit for much of the progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president said.
If that's true, then shouldn't the President honor the wisdom of the veteran diplomat and years of foreign policy experience by considering his final words? Or are we doomed to spend another decade and another several billion dollars sending our troops into the meat grinder -- to kill and be killed -- for nothing?