An official for the Afghan government today reiterated the threat to block the NATO offensive against the major southern city of Kandahar, warning that the alliance would have to guarantee that civilians would be protected in the offensive.
Whether or not the Afghan government will have any actual say of the matter is unclear, however, and US forces seem to be stepping up attacks in the area in anticipation of the June offensive.
There will be a moment when the US and NATO will have to declare victory, and come home, no matter whether any true "victory" can said to have been won (except for the drug lords, and the companies providing mercenaries and supplies).
The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, nearly 9 years on, is no closer to achieving the goal of installing the pipelines with which to control Eurasian oil - for private profit - than it was when the war started.
At the end of the day, the West is going to have to leave, and negotiate with whatever Afghan government is left standing for the pipeline rights, just as the Bush administration was attempting to do as late as August of 2001.
Let us hope, this time, however, that the cost in blood and money from this obscene and immoral military fiasco will have taught the US government that negotiation is always a better option than war.