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Slouching war plan ...

   The editorial craftsmen on the Buffalo News Opinion desk worry about fighting a hidden enemy in Afghanistan and hidden fees at the airport.

- War gone wrong - Buffalo News Editorial
   There's an old saying that "things are never so bad that they can't get worse." As the release of thousands of leaked documents this week demonstrates, it fits Afghanistan's current situation perfectly.
   When President Obama decided to make winning the war in Afghanistan a cornerstone of his Afghanpolice administration, he did not fully understand or consider what he was dealing with. ...
   The idea that President Hamid Karzai would unify the country collapsed around a corrupt administration riddled with graft and payoffs. ...
   When Obama announced we would pull out our forces in 2011, celebrations erupted all over Taliban councils. They would wait out the United States and take over the country next year. Pulling out after a debacle in the Mideast is an unfortunate pattern for the United States, and recognized by Muslim countries. ...
   U.S. military forces are designed to fight wars, not build nations. But if anyone can succeed, it is Gen. David Petraeus, newly installed as the head of operations in Afghanistan. He has some useful tools at his disposal, including patrols and attacks by drone aircraft. He should maintain and possibly even increase their usage.
   In the meantime, Washington's best think tanks need to look at the options if the war continues to go badly. While there are many options, none is conspicuous or palatable. Nonetheless, if bad things are going to get worse, we have no option but to face up to what may be inevitable.

- 1 Soldier or 20 Schools? - Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times
    By the standards of history and cost-effectiveness, we are hugely overinvested in military tools and underinvested in education and diplomacy.
- Costs of Major U.S. Wars - Congressional Research Service
- What’s Second Prize? - Thomas Friedman/The New York Times
   Why do we have to recruit and train our allies, the Afghan Army, to fight? That is like someone coming to you with a plan to recruit and train Brazilian boys to play soccer.
- Not the Pentagon Papers - Fred Kaplan/Slate
   If any of this startles you, then welcome to the world of reading newspapers. Today's must be the first one you've read.
- Obama's long-shot bet and high stakes in Afghanistan - Trentonian Editorial
   As for the withdrawal date, it’s a sop intended to mollify anti-war, indeed, anti-military Democrats of the Left. But it’s not fooling them.
- From Afghan media: Documents show gap in war's media coverage - CNN


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