If you follow the commentariat on Afghanistan, you can sense a growing sense of pessimism. Some handle it more deftly than others:
The most insidious objection to realism in the AfPak region comes from those ready to label it a “cut-and-run” strategy. This is the kind of logic that leads some folks to sleep with an unattractive date for fear of being labeled gay…Far from being horrified at America’s wanton abandonment of its faithful Afghan protegé, our real allies will heave a sigh of relief that their American protectors are capable of some common sense after all.
Our invasion of Afghanistan was fully justified and our experiment there has not necessarily failed. We simply need a longer perspective. Twenty or thirty years from now, a generation of Afghans will remember how much better life was when the Americans were there. At that point, they may seek to integrate themselves into the civilized world.