GENERAL Petraeuss utterances since he took over command in Afghanistan are a rehash of what the US commanders and officials have been lecturing before. Hyperbolic statements that he made about securing victory and subduing the resistance, only points to the reality that the US is suffering from utter confusion and is bogged down in the Afghan quagmire. It was both ironical and surprisingly to hear a mentally worn out General comment that it was a contest of wills - given the high number of casualties, suicide rate among the troops and the general frustration pinching the rank and file as well as the high command - not to mention the anger of the conscientious sections within US public, which views Afghanistan as another Vietnam - speak volumes that US has lost this war of wills. Besides, the fact that many a Senator are at loggerheads with the Obama Administration over how the war should be run, especially concerning giving a timetable for withdrawal of troops - as it is feared that it would strengthen the resolve of the militants - unmistakeably shows that the US is on the back foot. Americans are also overwhelmed because various ethnic groups like Tajiks and Uzbeks, hitherto sitting on the fence, are now joining forces with the mainstream resistance in driving out the occupying forces. The frenzy of the US is too intense to be mitigated by the change of command, which was a mere face saving measure on the part of the White House. Though the failure of US adventurism is now quite evident, the Obama camp is still adamant, as manifested by Petraeuss boastful rhetoric. These failings should also bring home the point that negotiations are the only way forward. Islamabad, in times like these, must step forward and make its presence felt at least in a way that protects its security and interests. Foremost, in the post-occupation scenario the Indians have to be kept away from Afghanistan. They have no business there except for destabilising Pakistan.