Here is the latest 6-month review (pdf). It is progress progress progress, as you’d expect, since General Petraeus has decided that’s the only kind of update he’ll accept. Look at page 65. That’s where you see the much-vaunted ISAF push to safeguard civilians failed, since civilian casualties went up.
On page 66, you can see that overall violence is the highest its ever been—that the winter lull of 2011 was almost as violent as the summer surge of 2009. ISAF pins this on more operations, more troops, and a mild winter. At the same time, violence everywhere was already spiking in March—so while all the flacks last winter were urging the witholding of judgment until the summer begins… well, can we please stop pretending what this means?
Page 69 shows that IED events are the highest they’ve ever been, and the rate at which they’ve being discovered and defused hasn’t improved. They’re finding more weapons caches than ever before (page 70), but that hasn’t resulted in a decrease in insurgent operations tempo.
This what ISAF portrays as tangible progress that is breaking the momentum of the insurgency. Their own data says the exact opposite. Whether you think this is deliberately misleading on their part—basically, whether you think they’re lying—or just insane, legitimately insane wishful thinking, is up to you. I’ll be up front say I can’t tell which I think, and which I find more worrying.