Success/withdrawal is dead. Long live the new date for success/non-withdrawal.
The amnesia in most of the reporting on this week's NATO summit on Afghanistan is quite remarkable. No one mentions that, only weeks ago, President Obama's policy was for a total pull-out of US combat forces by July 2011. Instead the assumption --- pushed by the US military --- was now established: troops would remain until 2014.
And now, even more remarkably, the media is pulled along with yet another narrative: "NATO and American officials also warned that if Afghanistan had not made sufficient progress in managing its own security, 2014 was not a hard and fast deadline for the end of combat operations."
It will be a perpetual transition.