"The U.S. intelligence community says in a secret new assessment that the war in Afghanistan is mired in stalemate, and warns that security gains from an increase in American troops have been undercut by pervasive corruption, incompetent governance and Taliban fighters operating from neighboring Pakistan, according to U.S. officials.
The sobering judgments, laid out in a classified National Intelligence Estimate completed last month and delivered to the White House, appeared at odds with recent optimistic statements by Pentagon officials and have deepened divisions between U.S. intelligence agencies and American military commanders about progress in the decade-old war.
The detailed document, known as an NIE, runs more than 100 pages and represents the consensus view of the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. Similar in tone to an NIE prepared a year ago, it challenges the Pentagon's claim to have achieved lasting security gains in Taliban strongholds in southern Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials who have read or been briefed on its contents." LA Times
The US armed forces and CIA's Directorate of Operations are "interested parties" in progress toward pacification and success at the benighted adventure of COIN warfare there. This is true even thought the assumption in Washington is that COIN is finished for a while as a srtategic doctrine rather than as a technique of some limited utility.
Their "interested party" status make the statements and forcasts of these two groups suspect, National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) are NOW produced by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) which works for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) The NIC used to effectively bye under CIA. This made these estimates hostages to CIA DO's particiapation in execution of national policy rather objective analysis.
That is no longer the case. pl