So I figure that Obama’s likely to start seeing serious defections on his left flank (maybe even a primary challenge) and increasing resistance from independents and Republicans even if the military facts on the ground are getting better. Recall that substantial military progress in Vietnam didn’t stop the Democratic base from driving Lyndon Johnson out of the 1968 presidential race or the "silent majority" from electing Richard Nixon on the promise that he'd get American soldiers out of harm's way.
But what if, despite Obama's troop surge, the facts on the ground in Afghanistan are getting worse?
You can’t read this Wall Street Journal story without contemplating that possibility:
“Nine years after a U.S.-led invasion routed almost all of al Qaeda's surviving militants in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden's network is gradually returning.
“Over the past six to eight months, al Qaeda has begun setting up training camps, hideouts and operations bases in the remote mountains along Afghanistan's northeastern border with Pakistan, some U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials say. The stepped-up infiltration followed a U.S. pullback from large swatches of the region starting 18 months ago. The areas were deemed strategically irrelevant and left to Afghanistan's uneven security forces, and in some parts, abandoned entirely.
“American commanders have argued that the U.S. military presence in the remote valleys was the main reason why locals joined the Taliban. Once American soldiers left, they predicted, the Taliban would go, too. Instead, the Taliban have stayed put, a senior U.S. military officer said, and ‘al Qaeda is coming back.’"