Here's a dead giveaway. When you have to rely on surprise to visit a country which you've supposedly controlled for almost a decade, you're not winning anything.
Barack Obama made his own surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday. He was flown right in, unannounced, wearing a jaunty, classic A-2 leather flight jacket.
Obama's people staged the obligatory, photo-op bull session with the troops at which the POTUS assured the soldiers, "you will succeed." Obama then told his audience they were breaking the momentum of the Taliban.
Mr. Obama's words suggest he still sees the conflict as a military war. Somehow I'd thought he was brighter than that. Guess I was wrong. Then again he merely assured the troops they would succeed - succeed at what he didn't specify. If he meant succeed in defeating the Taliban, actually getting them to surrender, those troops can expect to be in Afghanistan until Hell freezes over.