The US and NATO continue to offer relentlessly optimistic reports. But they aren’t reversing the erosion of public confidence, and attacks like today's suicide bombing don't help.
Case in point is the last week in February, arguably one of the worst blows to the US image in Afghanistan, when the burning of Qurans on a US military base sparked protests that killed 40. Four Americans were among the dead, two of them shot in their offices at the Interior Ministry in Kabul.
Pentagon press secretary George Little acknowledged the challenges, but stressed that the top brass "believe we have achieved significant progress in reversing the Taliban's momentum and in developing the Afghan security forces, and they believe that the fundamentals of our strategy remain sound."
Military leaders' unflinching public optimism is perhaps as old as war itself. With Afghanistan largely ignored in the United States, many of the military's utterances have long gone unquestioned. But the violent protests – continuing today with a suicide bombing outside a US base – underscore declining confidence on both sides and increasing doubt that the war is still worth fighting.
IN PHOTOS: Afghanistan fighting continues
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