In Washington, the staff of two presidential candidates are told the situation is getting worse in Afghanistan; that on the ground, it will be like an eternity waiting for Inauguration Day in January; and that whoever wins had better have a recovery plan ready to execute by then, because it will already be very late by then.
When I visited Afghanistan a year ago, we were given a range of optimistic and pessimistic medium-term possible futures. There was a general sense that NATO and the rest of the international community had waited a perilously long time to deal with some fundamentals, like training the police and judiciary, and the smaller number of pessimists spoke with more conviction than the larger number of optimists. But there was still a lot of hope. Since then, much of what we were told could go wrong has gone wrong.
A housekeeping note: comments are open.