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Afghanistan: The Huge "If"

"U.N. sees progress for Afghanistan in 2009" is UPI's headline for an article by its correspondent Daniel Graeber.

It turns out, however, that a qualifier is missing in that headline. After all the article is based on a big "If" in a quote by Kai Eide, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan:

If we can manage to strengthen the positive work now under way, and implement what we have agreed on, if additional troops can bring the insurgency on the defensive and if we can hold elections that have the credibility required to be accepted by the population at large, then 2009 could well be a turning point,

That's a huge "if," isn't it? Have you seen bigger "ifs" recently? Are you optimistic of pessimistic regarding Afghanistan's future?

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