Gen. David Petraeus...told the Senate Armed Services Committee that American forces face many more battles against a determined and resilient Taliban. "My sense is that the tough fighting will continue," Petraeus said. "Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months."
But Petraeus said that as the fighting increases, and American casualties rise, the public should remember that "progress is possible" in Afghanistan. Petraeus knows that's true, he explained, because he has seen it.
"For example, nearly seven million Afghan children are now in school as opposed to less than one million a decade ago under Taliban control," Petraeus said. "Immunization rates for children have gone up substantially and are now in the 70 to 90 percent range nationwide. Cell phones are ubiquitous in a country that had virtually none during the Taliban days."
This expensive program of social services supply spending gets an extra $33 billion in a House vote this week, although 162 of our representatives are losing their nerve on this needle-riddled field of combat, and voted for a strict withdrawal timetable from this bloody morass of schools and cell towers, as Reuters reports.