The Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction

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The iconic American sitcom Seinfeld has this episode where George Costanza, the show’s lovable loser, mopes to friend Jerry Seinfeld: “My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have..it 's all been wrong.” Jerry deadpans back, “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.” Washington will eventually have its own George Costanza moment on Afghanistan, and the futility of an open-ended war. The only question is how many more dead soldiers and civilians will it take to have this epiphany.

The Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) quarterly report for January is a bleak read. At close to 30%, not only do the Taliban hold more Afghan territory than any time after the 2001 invasion, but "The insurgency is spreading (Afghan forces) thin, threatening rural districts in one area while carrying out ambitious attacks in more populated centers." The Taliban trifecta of high-stakes attacks in late 2015 adds weight to SIGAR’s assessment. Moreover, even before militants briefly overran Kunduz, Kandahar airport and besieged Sangin district, UN figures revealed a 19% increase in “security incidents” between August and October.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, however, insists Washington will “stick with Afghanistan, but not just in 2016, that’s 2017 and beyond,” Sectors of the US media also report that military commanders are pressing President Barack Obama to shelve the troop drawdown until

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