Christiane Amanpour has been a great reporter, but I didn't care for her as moderator of ABC's This Week. She did ask a few good questions when she was on the subject of Afghanistan, but when it turned to the economy, and there was actually something interesting coming out between Will and Krugman, she turned instead to her Madrid based expert on the Taliban. WTF? On politics she was just boooorrring.
The interview with Defense Secretary Gates was mainly scary for his enunciation of a excruiatingly bankrupt American strategy: "reverse Taliban momentum" (whatever that might mean), degrade their capability, improve security, persuade them to agree to Karzai's terms. But we won't "nation build."
OK, we are in Afghanistan, never mind that the al Quaeda guys we went there to fight are now across the border in Pakistan having tea. Of course our being there annoys some Afghans (the Taliban) who kill our soldiers, so we kill some more Afghans, which still others find annoying, but we won't do anything that Afghans might find useful, since that could be interpreted as "nation building." And, oh yeah, we will start leaving next year, but hey Taliban, don't get encouraged by that cause we are going to leave real slooowwwly.
It's really hard to win a war when you have no clue as to what the hell you trying to do. It looks like we are trying to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban. If that's our objective, then let's start negotiating. It's probably impossible to win a war if you leave them a safe haven across a long unpatrollable border. If we didn't learn that in Vietnam, we probably are too stupid to live.