A quick scan reveals the danger of stubborn refusal to re-access and ignore the trends:
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Pakistani military is striking truces with Islamic separatists along the country's border with Afghanistan, freeing Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters to join Taliban insurgents battling U.S.-led troops and government forces in Afghanistan.
Western and Afghan officials said the new infiltration came as the United States, its NATO allies and the Afghan government were struggling to stem a resurgence of the Taliban across large swaths of southern and eastern Afghanistan.
A lack of balance, from a source who should know:
Kabul- Five years since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the beginning of the war on terrorism, Afghanistan has accused the international community of failure in that fight. The international community has "concentrated too much on the military components in the fights against terrorism," its foreign minister, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, said in an interview in Kabul with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "The fight against terrorism is not only a military, but also a development and social, mission."
"The problem is, is that the non-governmental organizations and the reconstruction teams have completely pulled out of the south and east," Spanta said.
Pockets of resistence or spreading threat?:
Militant supporters of the Islamist militia have stepped up attacks, rendering much of the south and east of the country a no-go zone for civilians. Insecurity has also spread to new provinces, such as Ghazni, where Taliban-led fighters are more active than in the past.
On Friday, suspected Taliban ambushed the chief of the central province's Muqur district, Habibullah Jan, as he traveled by car to the provincial capital, said Abdul Ali Faqari, the Ghazni governor's spokesman. Four of his bodyguards were wounded in the attack.
In the east, a homemade bomb believed planted by Islamic extremists badly damaged a newly built coed school in Paktika province on Friday, a U.S.-led coalition statement said. At the time, no one was inside the school, which was due to open next week
Some nations are now re-thinking:
In Germany, the idea of sending troops to the south is controversial and the issue could become a serious one when the German parliament discusses extending the Bundestag's mandate in Afghanistan in mid-September. The Bundestag must approve all German troop deployments abroad and the mandate for the current 2,700 German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan expires in October.
The war on drugs:
WASHINGTON - The illicit Afghan narcotics trade is taking a sharp turn for the worse despite major efforts by U.S. and Afghan forces over the past year, continuing to fuel an insurgency that is increasingly killing American soldiers and destabilizing the country.
In light of dramatic figures expected to be announced in Saturday by the United Nations, U.S. officials plan a shift in policy including getting tougher with regional Afghan officials who fail to meet new goals for destroying poppy fields in their areas...
"We know the numbers are bad, and that we need to do better," said Tom Schweich, the State Department's point man on the Afghan narcotics trade. "I don't know the exact number but it'll be high, very high."
At the same time, Schweich contends it is too soon to call the U.S. effort a failure.
Conclusion, for myself anyways, anybody who isn't at the very least questioning this mission has her/his head up their ass :) And remember, wanting to change gears doesn't equate to abandoning Afghanistan forever.