President Obama has declared that a U.S. soldier's massacre of 16 people from three families in a village in Afghanistan will not derail his plans for an orderly winding down of the U.S. war there. The president is right that single events, even one so terrible as this, should not dictate policy.
But in the broader context of the fight there, the massacre near Kandahar is just one more ugly event that illustrates the broadening gulf among the U.S. military, the people of Afghanistan and the corrupt government there. Taken as a whole, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, and the United States cannot get out of the country fast enough.
Last month, riots broke out after burned copies of the Quran were found in garbage at Bagram air base. In the aftermath of that incident, two American officers were assassinated within an Interior Ministry compound in Kabul. That suggests that resentment of the continued American occupation runs so deep that the Afghan government cannot protect U.S. forces in any place in the country.