9 October 2009: Eight years into the Afghanistan war, the US president, Barack Obama, is asking the absolute wrong question about it. According to the wire service AP, Obama has been wondering aloud, interrogating his aides, "Who is our adversary?" The question to ask, as Clausewitz would have ventured to do, is, "What were the aims and objectives of the Afghan war?" And a follow-up question, "Have they been met?" The answer to the second query we all know: the aims and objectives haven't been met. But what were they in the first place, and how does the United States go about meeting them? That should be the line of analysis of the White House, but such parsing is not happening.