Friday, December 3, 2010

Wikileaks and the Afghanistan Quagmire

I can't say often enough how critical it is to American counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan that the deep and widespread corruption in the government there be reversed. But as we already knew -- and the Wikileaks cables are confirming -- there's simply no way that's happening:
It is hardly news that predatory corruption, fueled by a booming illicit narcotics industry, is rampant at every level of Afghan society. Transparency International, an advocacy organization that tracks government corruption around the globe, ranks Afghanistan as the world’s third most corrupt country, behind Somalia and Myanmar.

But the collection of confidential diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, offers a fresh sense of its pervasive nature, its overwhelming scale, and the dispiriting challenge it poses to American officials who have made shoring up support for the Afghan government a cornerstone of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan
It's time to wind down this war.

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