"President Obama's decision to order a large but temporary troop increase for Afghanistan gives the military enough resources to succeed while signaling that the U.S. commitment is finite, top administration officials told skeptical members of Congress on Wednesday. . . . The three officials also spent considerable time defending Obama's statement that the troops would begin withdrawing in July 2011. Gates called the increase "an extended surge of 18-24 months," suggesting that troops levels would drop to their current numbers, or less, after two years."
In simple English, the best case scenario is that "after two years" (by then, after at least 10 years of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan) "troops levels would drop to their current numbers, or less", and we would still be stuck in the longest war in our history. How is that an improvement?