“The trip highlighted how far the administration believes that the Afghan government has to go to make good on promises that Mr. Karzai has made on governance and even reintegration with certain reconcilable members of the Taliban insurgency.
“The language used by Mr. Obama and Mr. Karzai in their private discussions was not disclosed. But Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, told reporters on Air Force One enroute to Afghanistan that the administration wanted Mr. Karzai to ‘understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since day one.’ General Jones said that the Afghan president ‘needs to be seized with how important’ the issue of corruption, in particular, is for American officials…
“‘He’s slipping away from the West,’ said a senior European diplomat in Kabul.”
“A scent of weakness is in the air. The Taliban remain deadly and capable – yet they seem to be losing the initiative. ‘Shaping Operations’ are underway. Special Operations Forces are picking off and collecting key Taliban leaders. With our increase in troops, the Taliban must spend more time on self-defence, deducting from their capacity for offensive operations.
“This year, 2010, is particularly crucial for the future of Afghanistan. The fight is on for key physical terrain, politcal terrain, and information dominance. Before Christmas, we will know who won the Battle for Kandahar. Who wins this Battle likely will win the war.”
Via the Right Scoop.