"Afghanistan is slipping toward failure. The Taliban is back, violence is up, drug production is booming and the Afghans are losing faith in their govrnment. All the legs of our strategy—security, counternarcotics efforts, resconstruction and governance—have gone wobbly.
If we should have had a surge anywhere, it is Afghanistan. And instead of eradicating poppy crops, which forces many farmers to turn to the Taliban, we should go after drug kignpins.
We also need to make good on President Bush's pledge for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan. In six years, we have spent on Afghanistan's reconstruction only what we spend every three weeks on military operations in Iraq.
Afghanistan's fate is directly tied to Pakistan's future and America's security. When president Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan concluded that we were not serious about finishing the job in Afghanistan, he began to cut deals with extremists in his own country.
As a result, the border area remains a freeway of fundamentalism: the Taliban and Al Queda find sanctuary in Pakistan, while Pakistan suicide bombers wreak havoc in Afghanistan."
Part of a perspective Senator Joe Biden wrote in last Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES