We are losing popular support. Confidence in the Afghan and coalition governments is plummeting. Loss of human terrain is evident. Conditions are building for an avalanche. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the military commander in Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates are aware of the rumbling, and so today we are bound by rules of engagement that appear insensible.
We must curb civilian losses at expense to ourselves. I believe the reasoning is sound and will share those increased dangers. Erosion of popular support seems reversible. There still is considerable good will from the Afghan population, but bomb by bomb we can blow it. We have breathing room if we work with wise alacrity. I sense a favorable shift in our operations occurring under Gen. McChrystal.
Enemies are strengthening. Attacks are dramatically increasing in frequency and efficacy. We are being out-governed by tribes and historical social structures.
He ends the piece:
Either we will begin to show progress by the end of 2010 or, piece by piece, the coalition will cleave off and drift away, meaning 2011 will begin the end to significant involvement in Afghanistan.
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