Twenty million dollars was spent on the war in Afghanistan just during Gen. David Petraeus's testimony to Congress this morning. This month, we are on track to spend more than $10 billion in Afghanistan. And for what?
Instead of focusing on metrics that matter, U.S. officials have decided to trumpet enemy body count. Apparently, the number of dead insurgents, not civilians, is now the barometer for determining the campaign's efficacy.
The detention of journalists for trying to provide an independent voice on security incidents in Afghanistan undermines Western governments' otherwise positive efforts to support free media there in the past 10 years.
Obama would be wise to ignore Klein and decide not to play chicken with the numbers. Afghanistan will not magically right itself, particularly now as Petraeus can inflame the violence as much as he pleases.
The newest way General Petraeus plans to measure success in the war in Afghanistan reminded me of what the government did when its campaign to persuade the public to stop smoking did not make much headway.
By demoting Petraeus to commander of the Afghan War, Obama may have sowed the seeds of his own political destruction. The President should be parsing the statements in Petraeus' recent media blitz very carefully.