There appears to be a far more realistic assessment of the situation in Afghanistan now that the Bush Administration has departed Washington.
NYT said:Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of Taliban
WASHINGTON â President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.
âIf you talk to General Petraeus, I think he would argue that part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us because they had been completely alienated by the tactics of Al Qaeda in Iraq,â Mr. Obama said.
At the same time, he acknowledged that outreach may not yield the same success. âThe situation in Afghanistan is, if anything, more complex,â he said. âYou have a less governed region, a history of fierce independence among tribes. Those tribes are multiple and sometimes operate at cross purposes, and so figuring all that out is going to be much more of a challenge.â
BBC said:Nato 'struggling in Afghan south'
Coalition forces in Afghanistan are not winning in large parts of the south, the commander of Nato and US forces there has said.
Gen David McKiernan told the BBC that coalition strategy had so far been clear, but under-resourced.
In an interview with the BBC, Gen McKiernan said there were areas in the north, east and west where "coalition efforts in support of the government of Afghanistan [are] winning".
"But there are other areas - large areas in the southern part of Afghanistan especially, but in parts of the east - where we are not winning," he said.
In these areas "more has to happen along multiple lines of operation in order for anybody by any metric to say that the Afghans are winning or the efforts of the coalition are winning," Gen McKiernan added.