One of the military objectives in targeting mid-level commanders is to compel the Taliban to pursue peace talks with the Afghan government, a nascent effort that NATO officials have helped to facilitate.Miller also says that the news reports we have been seeing lately are part of the political maneuvering leading up to a major review of our Afghan policy scheduled for December. So Petraeus and his allies have been putting out reports about successes, while their opponents are putting out reports saying that we continue to fail:
"The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience," said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to "reestablish and rejuvenate," often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, "I don't see it."I am curious to see what Obama will decide. Obama has proposed a timetable under which US troops will start to withdraw next summer, but Petraeus has opposed this from the beginning. If the review indicates that we are not defeating the Taliban -- which is what I think, and what most analysts not close to Petraeus seem to think -- what will Obama do? Cut our losses and get out? Or dig in for another year?