Andrew Exum is traveling through Afghanistan. He sees reason for hope but lodges this criticism:
We have two "Achilles heels" in the current strategy: Afghan governance and insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan.
What these two weaknesses have in common is their combined effect on the ability of insurgent ranks, which have been decimated this year, to regenerate either through sanctuaries (to include external support) or by exploiting grievances caused by bad governance. I'm going to be honest and say that I do not see a coherent or otherwise effective strategy for dealing with the sanctuaries in Pakistan. I do not see it anywhere in the U.S. government or within NATO, whose writ only extends to the borders of Afghanistan anyway. With respect to governance, I have seen some isolated rays of hope at the local level, but it is easy to see how, as long as Afghans consider their country the third most corrupt country on Earth and look elsewhere for the rule of law, insurgents will continue to recruit and recover their losses.
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