Troubled Afghan Mission Under Review

Prospect of failure in 'forgotten war' prompts probes, if not surge
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2007 7:37 AM CST
A soldier of the Afghan National Army stands guard as Afghan boys look on during a patrol in Musa Qala in Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec 15, 2007. A week ago the Taliban controlled this southern town and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With insurgent violence in Afghanistan soaring to the highest level since 2001, the Bush administration and NATO have begun three sweeping reviews of a mission that was considered a success, but now seems increasingly threatened. Lack of coordination in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda, rising opium production, and the weakness of the Kabul government are the focus of the probes, the New York Times reports.

An Iraq-style surge in US troops to counter the Taliban's dramatic rebound is not possible, the New York Times notes, because the forces aren't available. The reviews will be undertaken by the Pentagon, the State Department, and NATO. NATO's efforts are strained by lack of political support in Europe. Said one expert: “The mission in Afghanistan has been suffering from neglect on all sides.”