Brooks: We Can Win in Afghanistan

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 7:57 AM CDT
Hamid Karzai, seen here at the Presidential Palace yesterday, "is detested by much of the US military," according to Brooks.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – David Brooks has always been skeptical of our efforts in Afghanistan, “one of the poorest, least-educated and most-corrupt nations on earth,” and his recent six-day tour of the country reinforced "every element" of his skepticism. But the columnist also emerged “infected by the optimism of the truly impressive people who are working here,” he writes in the New York Times. Afghanistan, he now believes, is a winnable war.

"The Afghans are warm and welcoming,” Brooks writes. “They detest the insurgents, and root for American success.” US forces, after going through “the screwing-up phase of our operation,” have gotten their priorities and strategies straight. And though Afghan leadership isn't great, it’s improving, and the people have embraced democracy. That we are helping them, despite the economy and war weariness, “says something profound about America’s DNA.”