The Mood in Pakistan

When my colleague Caroline Wadhams got back from Afghanistan recently I had a brief-but-depressing chat with her about her observations, and now you too can get depressed by her writeup:

I was struck by the deep pessimism I encountered from the moment I arrived in Kabul for the election observation mission. Each and every person I spoke to, whether foreign or Afghan, believed Afghanistan was deteriorating despite the infusion of U.S. troops and assistance. They also thought that the insurgency was spreading.

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Conveniently, she reports that people also pretty universally feel that a quick US exit would be even worse than the deteriorating status quo. Basically, nobody knows what to do. I have some further thoughts on where that leaves us, but I want to express myself judiciously and am in a bit of a rush at the moment so I’ll just recommend her piece for now.