And what you get from this article is the sense of what we heard before is that the civilian side, Ambassador Eikenberry and others aren't sure that it can succeed and don't think Karzai is capable of doing the civilian end of this which is so crucial to real counterinsurgency.
Now, that contradiction has to be resolved if this thing is going to succeed.
WALLACE: Give us, Charles, the 35,000-foot view. When you read the article, what do you think if we can win the war?
KRAUTHAMMER: McChrystal thinks it's winnable, but I think there are two issues here, the leadership in Kabul and the leadership in Washington. The COIN strategy --
KRAUTHAMMER: Counterinsurgency depends on having a local government that after you clear can be put in place and hold. It hasn't happened in Marjah. That's why we are now behind. It could be that unlike Iraq there isn't a central government capable of doing this.
And secondly, unlike Iraq, it could be that the insurgents are so embedded and indigenous that it could be a different war. In Iraq the surge succeeded largely because we had the population, for example in Anbar behind us. Why? Because Al Qaeda was an alien element, soldiers from Egypt, elsewhere, Afghanistan, Pakistan, who were hated in the end.
Here the local insurgents in Afghanistan are mostly indigenous. It's not a foreign legion of Egyptians in there. And they may be so embedded that it could be a difficult win, because if you want to be as protective as McChrystal is and have rules of engagement, which are incredibly restrained because you don't want to hurt the locals, and the insurgents are embedded, then you can never shoot or kill and destroy an insurgent.
And they rearm, they fade away, and they remain. That has been a real complaint of the troops on the ground.
WALLACE: Are you saying we are going to lose?
KRAUTHAMMER: I'm saying this strategy to defeat them, using the Iraq strategy, may be one that may not be exactly applicable. It is the best option we have and I think McChrystal is the best commander to carry it out, but I don't know how successful it can be.
McChrystal and Petraeus think it can work and their judgment I think is probably the best around, but I'm skeptical.
WALLACE: We have to leave it on that pessimistic note.