"How's the war in Afghanistan going?" the Washington Post asked General John Allen, the supreme allied commander there. He answered, "My instruction is to get the Afghans into the fight. The sooner I can get them there while I still have the time and combat power, the more I can catch them if they fall."
That's an amazing quote. If Afghanistan's allies' commander can get the Afghans into the fight, he's got a chance. Why do we have to get them into a fight about their country? It's their war.
Or maybe not.
An article in Sataurday's Washington Post is headlined, "Afghan armies' defiance grows." It goes on to say that Afghan commanders have refused more than a dozen times in the past two months to carry out night time raids the Americans wanted but which could have caused civilian casualties.
This is evidence of the Afghan commanders new power to veto operations allies like America propose.
A good question might be: what the hell is going on?
We are presumably there to help them but they seem not to want that help. This suggests a new American strategy for Afghanistan. It does not involve more troops or more helicopters or more of anything else. It won't require a lot of briefings either. You can explain it, in fact, in just one word.