After eight years, U.S.-led forces must show progress in Afghanistan by next summer to avoid the public perception that the conflict has become unwinnable, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a sharp critique of the war effort.
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. [continued…]
The Taliban have released a video of a US soldier kidnapped outside a US base in Afghanistan almost three weeks ago.
Shaven-headed and emotional, the soldier, named by the Pentagon today as Private Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Idaho, pleads for American troops to return home.
A US military spokesman in Kabul condemned the video as propaganda and a breach of the rules of war.
In the 28-minute video, which the militants released via the internet yesterday, Bergdahl is shown with a razed head, a light beard and wearing a grey shalwar kameez. [continued…]