When asked by ABC’s Diane Sawyer whether he had “turned the tide” in the Afghanistan war, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, “I believe we’re beginning to do that now.” General McChrystal’s optimism seems to contradict the information in Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s December 2009 report, State of the Insurgency [h/t Noah Shactman at Wired's Danger Room blog]. Flynn’s presentation says:
The Afghan insurgency can sustain itself indefinitely
The Taliban retains required partnerships to sustain support, fuel legitimacy and bolster capacity
Taliban influence expanding; contesting and controlling additional areas
Regional instability is rapidly increasing and getting worse
Kinetic events are up 300% since 2007 and an additional 60% since 2008.
Organizational capabilities and operational reach are qualitatively and geographically expanding
The Taliban now has “Shadow Governors” in 33 of 34 provinces (as of DEC 09)
Strength and ability of shadow governance increasing
Contrary to McChrystal’s statement, the information in Flynn’s presentation makes it clear that U.S. military policies were not and are not the answer.