Even the New York Times, no friend to the Bush administration, has noticed “the Afghan difference.” After the recent legislative elections, the Times editorialists allowed that “no one can fail to see the many signs of progress there.” They concluded that Afghanistan “is one American-led intervention that could wind up actually making people’s lives better.”
Yet, progress is not victory. As retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey writes, staying the course — for years to come — is imperative to build a lasting peace. And as Sean Naylor reports, the Taliban is down but not out. The keys to victory are to pursue an effective counterinsurgency strategy, described by Col. David Lamm, who helped shape the Afghan campaign, and to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people with tools like Provincial Reconstruction Teams, as described by Vance Serchuk.
Here’s an in-depth look at the war we’re winning.