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SecDef Gates: U.S. "tired" of Afghanistan

11:08 AM, Jul 20, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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If you are concerned the Obama administration may be heading for the exit in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Gate's statements to the Los Angeles Times should worry you:

"After the Iraq experience, nobody is prepared to have a long slog where it is not apparent we are making headway," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an interview. "The troops are tired, the American people are pretty tired."

To be fair, the above paragraph was preceded by this:

Gates said that victory was a "long-term prospect" under any scenario and that the U.S. would not win the war in a year's time. However, U.S. forces must begin to turn the situation around in a year, he said, or face the likely loss of public support.

But this still leaves the unanswered question: what happens if U.S. forces cannot show significant progress in one year? Aside from that, Gates handed al Qaeda, the Taliban, and every allied extremist group the best piece of propaganda they could hope for: a U.S. secretary of defense telling the world the mujahideen have exhausted the Great Satan's army.

And expect to see this soon. If you watch the complete Taliban propaganda video of the U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan, you can see that the Taliban are extremely media savvy. They are closely following U.S. newspapers. The soldier was asked about American support for Afghan warlord General Dostum in light of accusations he slaughtered thousands of captured Taliban fighters in 2001. That story was just breaking here as the soldier was being interviewed. The video also shows other timely questions taken from current news.

I fully expect the captured soldier to be required to respond to Secretary Gates' remarks in a future Taliban video. The soldier has already been forced to comment upon about US troop morale and the mission in Afghanistan. Secretary Gates just handed the Taliban the ideal follow-up question on a silver platter.