Monday, December 27, 2010

It Measures 'Travel' Problems

For those looking for an excuse to run from Afghanistan, this is timely:

Confidential UN maps show a clear deterioration in security in parts of Afghanistan over the course of this year, despite White House claims its strategy is working, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The paper compared two UN maps, one showing the situation at the start of this year's fighting season in March and the other towards its end in October.

While the situation in the south -- the fiercest battleground between US-led troops and the Taliban -- remained virtually unchanged at "very high risk", it worsened in 16 districts in the north and east, the paper said.

We are making gains in the south where the Taliban recruit and draw money from to wage war. And yes, the Taliban are making efforts to look for weaknesses in the north and east. But in the north at least, there are few supporters of the Taliban around to allow the Taliban to gain a foothold. They are raiders and not insurgents, and if we take care of the problem and don't ignore it, we'll hunt them down and kill or scatter them. In the east, support from Pakistan can still feed the enemy, and we are working on this problem, too.

If you read the article carefully, you can see that it should not be used to assess progress in the war:

The United Nations uses the maps to assess the dangers of travelling and running schemes across Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal said.

There you go. This is for the purpose of letting UN people know how safe it is to drive around. The UN would have deemed the Normandy, France region safe to travel in if they assessed the situation in May 1944. The next month? Definitely deteriorating, for the purposes of traveling.

We are winning this war. Is our progress fragile and reversible? Darned straight, when you consider how eager some people here are to reverse that progress and lose the war.