It seems interesting that the day after the 10 anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks, I begin my annual training as an Army Reservist. This year I am in Fort Dix, New Jersey helping my unit prepare for deployment to Afghanistan. I will not be deploying this time.
Afghanistan. What are our prospects in Afghanistan? Most likely, the current administration will declare victory and leave. The current trajectory does not appear to have the projectile landing anywhere inside the circle of success, no matter your definition.
There is no precedent for centralized government in Afghanistan. There is no established bureaucracy in Afghanistan. There is no history of democracy. In fact, even the process of voting is a new concept in Afghanistan with election results called into question from the very onset. The Karzai administration is fraught with corruption, struggling to maintain any authority even over the district in which it resides. I believe that this summary of the situation in Afghanistan, published in Foreign Affairs magazine, sums up the situation today.
For the past ten years about a half a percent of the population has been fighting two wars. About 70% of the unit has done more than two deployments. One soldier who is about 25 has been in combat zones for more months than he has been in college.