The Guardian UK: (h/t Gregory)
British troops could remain in Afghanistan for more than the 38 years it took them to pull out of Northern Ireland. That is the bleak assessment by Army commanders on the ground in Helmand province.
In an interview with The Observer at HQ in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, Brigadier John Lorimer, commander of UK forces in Helmand, said: 'If you look at the insurgency then it could take maybe 10 years. Counter-narcotics, it's 30 years. If you're looking at governance and so on, it looks a little longer. If you look at other counter-insurgency operations over the last 100 years then it has taken time.'
His scenario is the starkest assessment yet from a senior officer tasked with defeating the Taliban, tackling the heroin trade and rebuilding the war-ravaged country. Last week troops pulled out of Northern Ireland after 38 years, the longest operation in UK military history. Afghanistan, commanders fear, may take longer.[..]
Scores of soldiers have succumbed to heatstroke while hundreds have battled on despite dehabilitating illness. Almost 50 out of 160 forward troops reported severe sickness and diarrhoea in the forward base at Sangin last month. A number of troops have lost limbs during firefights in the upper Gereshk valley, south of Sangin.
I can't imagine anyone involved--the Americans, NATO, the Brits or most of all, the Afghanis--being okay with this lasting that long.