The New York Times headline "U.S. General Says Allies ‘Not Winning’ Afghan War" grabbed my attention. After all, the Atlantic Council issued a widely-cited report fourteen months ago which began, "Make no mistake, the international community is not winning in Afghanistan."
If good feelings were the measure of effective diplomacy, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foray into Europe last week earned top marks.
Pakistan's military has successfully driven Taliban militants from Bajaur Agency, a small chunk of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) sandwiched between Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province. The news is welcome, but Bajaur's relatively small area and milder terrain make the victory much more difficult to replicate in other regions of the FATA.
In yet another example of the cascade of ways the Obama administration is abandoning the policies of its predecessor, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week the willingness of the Obama administration to talk directly to representatives of Iran. The vehicle for this change of policy was offering an invitation for Iran to attend an American-sponsored conference on the future of Afghanistan.