The journal Foreign Policy has published a list of '19 true things generals can't say in public about the Afghan war'. Here are a few examples.
- Pakistan is now an enemy of the United States.
- We don't know why we are here, what we are fighting for, or how to know if we are winning.
- The strategy is to fight, talk, and build. But we're withdrawing the fighters, the Taliban won't talk, and the builders are corrupt.
- Making this a NATO mission hurt, not helped. Most NATO countries are just going through the motions in Afghanistan as the price necessary to keep the US in Europe.
- Yes, the exit deadline is killing us.
- Yes, we are funding the Taliban, but hey, there's no way to stop it, because the truck companies bringing goods from Pakistan and up the highway across Afghanistan have to pay off the Taliban. So yeah, your tax dollars are helping Mullah Omar and his buddies. Welcome to the neighborhood.
- We are ignoring the advisory effort and fighting the "big war" with American troops, just as we did in Vietnam. And the U.S. military won't act any differently until and work with the Afghan forces seriously until when American politicians significantly draw down U.S. forces in country-when it may be too damn late.
There are more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
The sad thing is, I can't find anything in their list with which I disagree - but I'm forced to agree that any general unwise enough to say them aloud, in front of witnesses, would probably be fired on the spot!