NATO's commander in Afghanistan recently described the situation in the country as "close to anarchy," saying Afghan and coalition forces are "running out of time". Lt. Gen. David Richards, who will lead NATO as it takes control of the US-led coalition in southern Afghanistan at the end of the month, spoke at a conference in London of "a lack of unity between different agencies," according to the Guardian.
Gen Richards also spoke of his concerns that "poorly regulated private security companies" are "all too ready to discharge firearms," as well as a shortage of equipment for NATO forces, the Guardian reports. This grave depiction contrasts sharply with his interview in TIME magazine which appeared earlier this month when he said, "If I didn't have optimism about what we are doing, I shouldn't be here."
Media Resources: The Guardian 7/21/06; Time Magazine 7/10/06