And when it does, consider that we should be applying the lessons of Vietnam to the situation there. One lesson in specific...As the end drew nigh and helicopters on the roof of the embassy became inevitable, an exchange took place between two battle-hardened Colonels, Harry Summers from the United States Army, and Colonel Tu from North Vietnam. Stinging from the defeat, Summers reportedly said “You never beat us on the battlefield.” To which Tu replied, “That may be so, but it is also irrelevant.”
That is the lesson that we should be heeding in Afghanistan.
White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan has concluded that wide-ranging strategic goals that the Bush administration set for 2007 have not been met, even as U.S. and NATO forces have scored significant combat successes against resurgent Taliban fighters, according to U.S. officials.
The evaluation this month by the National Security Council followed an in-depth review in late 2006 that laid out a series of projected improvements for this year, including progress in security, governance and the economy. But the latest assessment concluded that only "the kinetic piece" -- individual battles against Taliban fighters -- has shown substantial progress, while improvements in the other areas continue to lag, a senior administration official said.
And while the Taliban gradually takes back territory - they now hold 54% of the land area of the country - The military points to tactical successes while the intelligence branches point to strategic failures; and any chance of realizing United States objectives in that beleaguered nation slip further and further away.