In fact, many government officials now believe that the United States and its allies could be as little as six months away from their ultimate goal: the total quagmirification of Afghanistan.
"We've spent a lot of time and money fostering the turmoil and despair necessary to make this a sustaining quagmire, and we're not going to stop now," President Barack Obama said in a national address Monday night. "It won't be easy, but with enough tactical errors on the ground, shortsighted political strategies, and continued ignorance of our vast cultural differences, we could have a horrific, full-fledged quagmire by 2012."
Added Obama, "Together, we can make Afghanistan into a nightmarish hell-scape Americans will regret for generations to come."
The U.S. plan to build a lasting quagmire in Afghanistan calls for the loss of at least 5,000 coalition troops, nearly 1,500 of whom have already been killed, and a wasted investment of nearly $1 trillion, a quarter of which has thus far been spent.
With more than 80 percent of the country currently under Taliban control, Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued that U.S. nation-dismantling efforts are actually proceeding ahead of schedule.
"We've made a complete mess of local institutions, and moving forward this substantial lack of infrastructure will be the cornerstone of our strategy to ensure long-term chaos in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region," said Gates, gesturing to a complex, 6-foot-tall wall map of what were either newly established al-Qaeda bases in Waziristan, tribal trade routes over the Hindu Kush, or perhaps U.S. military outposts of some kind. "I couldn't be happier with our progress. This place is a complete clusterfuck."