"These enemies have no wish to reconcile with their fellow countrymen, or compromise in any way that would diminish their control of the lives of the ordinary Afghans who don’t share their feral vision of life. They throw acid in the faces of little girls whose only crime is that they go to school. So we must continue to send our toughest men to confront them eye to eye, while performing the difficult balancing act of not alienating those who intend us no harm. This is particularly difficult in Afghanistan, a proud nation with a deep tradition of antipathy toward outsiders — even those who are here to help, though I am finding many Afghans clearly do not want us to leave."
Good news. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates may be sending more Marines to Afghanistan:
The top Marine officer, Gen. James Conway, told The Associated Press this week that he believes there is a growing consensus that Marines could be used to fill part of the need in Afghanistan. If approved, he said, some could go there in early spring.
"It's clear that the Marines want to be in the fight, that's what you'd expect," said Gates, adding that it's clear that the security situation has greatly improved in Iraq's Anbar province, where the bulk of the Marines are. "I don't have a problem with Gen. Conway's desire to have a bigger part of the mission in Afghanistan for the Marine Corps."