December 16th, 2010
08:11 AM ET

'Gains remain fragile and reversible'

“These gains remain fragile and reversible.”

From a strictly military point of view, this sentence in President Barack Obama's review of the Afghan war may be the most critical. U.S. and coalition forces can’t turn over security to Afghans if local security forces can’t hold an area — and that’s the key to U.S. forces coming home.

And the key question: Is any of the stated progress actually enduring and permanent?

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, believes that permanent progress has been made in some areas of the south and that has taken away Taliban safe havens, giving them no place to come back to.

In the east, however, attacks by insurgents are up 200 percent in some places and we have the top U.S. commander there telling us the Taliban can regenerate forces constantly with new fighters from Pakistan — no decline.

Note these stats Afghan-wide:
Attacks by insurgents:
– 2010: nearly 20,000 attacks
– 2009: about 11,000 attacks

Airstrikes by the U.S.:
– 2010: more than 2,500
– 2009: about 1,100

"Clearly the Taliban is going to come after the coalition in the spring," one of Petraeus' advisers told us. "They're not going to concede defeat."

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Security breaker

    I don't know why people looking other country people or other religion differently. Everyone is here to live. We should not care about what others saying or doing. This is our life , we should not waste our time with blaming others . Terrorism will not be a solution. Stop the terrorism please. Because of terrorism innocent people died.

    December 19, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |

    DAN DINDY and Sanity please try to understand Obama who has won his election on the promise of CHANGE against what Bush and his predecessors had made of America. His announcement of withdrawal from Afghanistan and his this saying " Gain remain fragile and reversible " is in fact a ground reality in war on terror which is certainly against the interests of MIC and corporatocracy but very much in the interest of USA and American nation. Obama, being a black African immigrant President is not being accepted by the MIC and corpratocracy which in itself speak of their sincerity to American nation and land therefore you all Americans have to make the difference and decide how America should be. Time is short therefore either give Obama a chance to CHANGE America and stop death merchandise in world politics or face humiliation the way other similar big one have faced in world politics in the past.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Obama has never promised to stop this war on terrorism and in fact has picked up the cause with the additional troops sent there. They have no religion they follow, no God they serve, they are just haters and killers on a murderous campaign!

      December 17, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Try proving it,Pfunnie boy!!!

        December 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Good post,BANGASH. I'm the real Bledsoe here and I think that neither this war nor pedophelia are funny but my impostor will try to ridicule me since I'm his favorite target. Don't pay any attention to him,please.

        December 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        He does this to all of us,Bledsoe. Don't let it get your goat.

        December 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        December 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      Bangash......solution is not easy the way we talk here. we can pray that all of us come out from this terrible situation. As you know well al qada has proved how dangerous they can be.

      December 17, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Bangash, Dindy, Yakoobi, Dan.. IN can't be normal, manufacturing defects, and while they pollute it seems so difficult to have a normal conversation.

      Now on the subject, it takes time to put back what has been under desturction for decades, way to go troops, stay the course.

      December 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dindy.....

    Although the Taliban come to power or not US troops cant be in a country like this for more years.. Taliban has no uniform like an official army. They hide among civilians when the operation going on the mountain side it is more difficult to do operations then. On the other hand Pakistan Army has not shown their capability of defeating terrorists.It is like beggars wound. If get healed no more money coming .. If the wound is there .,then can get money. Pakistan has a big army. Why cant they finish fight against terrorism for this long time. ? If they do,no more aids. US must build their economy before it is too late. Must use more intelligence rather than increasing troops on the ground. young people are the future of a country. They should not sacrifice their lives anymore if the Pakistan and Afghanistan Gvt does not give maximum support to restore peace in the world.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sanity

    "Afghans if local security forces can’t hold an area" of course they can't secure areas themselves, the Afghan security forces are nothing but a bunch of lazy guys that would rather sit around hitting the hash pipe and drinking tea all day. THey are absolutely worthless. Now if we can start convincing local militias (they at least know how to fight) who are tired of the Taleban to start doing security patrols, we would be able to leave that forsaken country.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |