WASHINGTON â€” A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a â€œdownward spiralâ€ and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Talibanâ€™s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.
The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence by militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from havens in Pakistan.
The report, a nearly completed version of a National Intelligence Estimate, is set to be finished after the November elections and will be the most comprehensive American assessment in years on the situation in Afghanistan. Its conclusions represent a harsh verdict on decision-making in the Bush administration, which in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks made Afghanistan the central focus of a global campaign against terrorism.
Note the part about Pakistan in there. This is why Obama is winning that argument. The “Talk Softly” strategy that McCain wants to employ simply isn’t an option because of how incredibly bad things are at this point.