Last week, this column described a deadly suicide attack by the Haqqani network on a secure compound outside Kabul, Afghanistan, and the failure of NATO officials to heed human intelligence that might have saved lives. I wrote, “The intel provided included information on how to precisely locate the terrorists. When I asked why the attack wasn’t prevented, I was told: ‘It was HUMINT. Nobody pays attention to HUMINT.'”

Shortly after the column appeared, a senior U.S. intelligence officer — and a friend — admonished me, “It’s not just HUMINT.” He described the problem as “institutional arrogance” and a failure to give credence “to information from outside the system.”

“The system.” Those two words describe a risk-averse, inertia-driven, leak-prone and politically correct bureaucracy now committed to “responsibly end” — not win — the war in Afghanistan. “The system” tells us that “the war on terror is over.”