In the ongoing campaign of secrecy an politicization of our troops and military activities by the Bush administration, the latest NIE on Afghanistan will not be made public until after the presidential election, according to Brian Ross of ABC News.
US intelligence analysts are putting the final touches on a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan that reportedly describes the situation as “grim”, but there are “no plans to declassify” any of it before the election, according to one US official familiar with the process.
Apparently, the NIE will report that the situation in Afghanistan is grim. Shocker.
Seth Jones, an expert on Afghanistan at the Rand Corporation think tank, called the situation in Afghanistan “dire.”
“We are now at a tipping point, with about half of the country now penetrated by a range of Sunni militant groups including the Taliban and al Queida,” Jones said. Jones said there is growing concern that Dutch and Canadian forces in Afghanistan would “call it quits.”
“The US military would then need six, eight, maybe ten brigades but we just don’t have that many,” Jones said.
Last week, Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress “we’re running out of time” in Afghanistan. “I’m not convinced we’re winning it in Afghanistan,” Adm. Mullen testified.
I’m sure Afghanistan will be part of the dialogue during the debate Friday night. But McCain has yet to present a concise plan for a reduction in our troop levels in Iraq – despite every other major player from Obama to Bush to Maliki expressing their strategies.
The troops are overloaded with tours in quantity and in length. We’re losing major ground in the verifiable terrorist bullseye. So, I ask you, how is John McCain putting country first? All he gives is over-bloated threats about gates to hell and no substantive policy presentations on refocusing efforts toward Afghanistan.
Of course, now the Bush administration is helping him by keeping this NIE under wraps until after the election. Releasing the report would give the situation in Afghanistan the searing light of attention it deserves.
Republican leadership has not been good for the country, nor has it been good for the troops. Obviously.