OTB founder James Joyner writes in The National Interest that there are, "Insurmountable Obstacles in Afghanistan." He starts by noting a speech made to the Atlantic Council last week by Major General John Toolan,"just returned from a year commanding NATO forces in southwestern Afghanistan."
At the same time, however, Toolan was quite blunt in his assessment of how fragile the situation is: "If we want to lose everything we've gained, then if we allow corruption to take root, it'll come crashing in."Afghanistan's system does not function despite corruption. Corruption is the system. Except by their own lights, they don't think its corruption. It's just how business gets done and how it always has been for centuries.
Nor is this a distant threat. While he considers the well-publicized incidents of Afghan National Army soldiers killing NATO troops aberrations, he acknowledged that the police forces are far from competent or trustworthy. Currently, Toolan repeatedly noted, they are incapable of conducting even basic criminal investigations on their own. Further, the "police are still working through a history of corruption."