A win would be an Afghanistan that, again, can secure itself against the level of insurgency at that time, and that can govern itself, see to the needs of its people, presumably still with some level of international assistance, but with vastly reduced levels of assistance and a very different character to whatever security assistance is provided. And ultimately, of course, winning is really ensuring that there is not an al-Qaida sanctuary again in Afghanistan. And of course, it’s — what’s necessary for that is, again, an ability to secure and govern itself.
—General Petraeus, in his testimony this past week before Congress. If you can make sense of that, or be able to describe how we will know when we’ve reached that point, you should probably be promoted. Because what Petraeus has described is an undefined state, largely defined by absence and platitude, with no sense of achievement or benchmarks by which we can measure success.
In other words, General Petraeus has described a situation we simply cannot win, even while he insists we are winning. Does that make sense to you?