Remember when the talk of the day was about reducing US troop levels in Afghanistan, feeding NATO a comfortably managable, residual insurgency of rural dead-enders in the research-laboratory-type environment of southern Afghanistan, to get the Alliance to develop some basic COIN capability, after many of its members were not fortunate enough to participate in all the fun of the Iraqi Sunni Triangle?
Yep, that was at a time of coming elections, too. Only, those September 2005 elections were much nearer when all the leaking and talking started (to be then confirmed and voiced by Donald Rumsfeld as well).
My concern, related to my previous post, is that the current "surge" may be meant by some of the contributors to be just enough to make the election times tolerable, and provide a sort of false feedback as to what we should want in Afghanistan. And it may not be enough for that in the first place. But even if it is, it's no good for NATO and Afghanistan strategically. For one thing, certain members of the Alliance, who are already deep into the COIN laboratory down in the south, are feeling the fatigue. Meanwhile, others staunchly refuse to think in strategic terms, and see it as ideal Afghanistan policy to field "peace-keepers" in Afghanistan and then bring back from there as many as possible, with essentially no other objective whatsoever. Therefore, if the going gets tougher despite the minor upcoming surge, many will cry Doomsday. If the going gets temporarily easier, some will say that's the right moment to exit. Whatever happens, the discourse may continue to turn into the same direction...
Anyway, if you happen to have 25 spare minutes, here's a link to let you listen to some influential people discuss Afghanistan, on CNN. I won't comment on it extensively, but sure there would be things to comment on.