The United States will likely remain stuck in the war in Afghanistan well past President Obama’s nominated date next year for beginning to pull troops out, one of the architects of the President’s Afghan policy says.

In an address on the Vineyard on Thursday night, Bruce Riedel, the former CIA officer and current senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who chaired last year’s review of policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, gave a generally pessimistic assessment of the state of the Afghan war.

Mr. Riedel told the first, packed session of the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center’s Summer Institute that President Obama inherited a “disaster” in Afghanistan, a consequence of the mismanagement of the war by the previous administration.

“We have been in a quagmire for the past two or three years, and it’s our own fault,” he said.

Having won in the initial invasion after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, “too easy and cheap,” America had neglected its task and tried to pacify the country using too few troops and too little resources, he said.

The result was a resurgence of forces hostile to the United States. Although there had been no successful major attacks recently, he warned that al Qaeda and its franchise organizations still presented a powerful threat and one increasingly using homegrown operatives.

He cited the planned attack on the New York subway last September as evidence that public transport is at significant risk.

“If you can’t travel by private charter, you’re at risk,” he said.

And Mr. Riedel suggested President Obama’s imposition of a target date of August 2011 to begin a draw-down of forces in Afghanistan was a mistake.

“Right now the Taliban thinks it’s going to win,” he said. “It thinks the United States is going to cut and run in 2011,” he said.

He ticked off America’s options.

To cut and run, he said, would have been a “globe-changing event,” comparable to the fall of the Soviet Union.

The second option, which he called “counter-terrorism light” involving heavy reliance on strikes against individuals using unmanned aerial vehicles, was also not a winner. His objection to the drones, however, was not related to the high numbers of innocent casualties, but the fact that they did not kill enough people.

It was not a strategy, he said, but a tactic, equivalent to trying to kill a beehive one bee at a time, which would condemn the U.S. to “drones for eternity.”

Instead, he endorsed what he called Mr. Obama’s bold gamble of committing significantly greater resources to the problem now, including civilian resources in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For Pakistan and Afghanistan cannot be separated. Pakistan is a very troubled country, which had the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world, which had mostly been ruled by “tin-horn dictators, every one of which the United States has fallen in love with,” he said.

President Bush, Mr. Riedel said, had likewise been taken in by the Pakistani leadership, apparently oblivious to the fact that it “plays both sides of the fence” in dealing with the Taliban.

So America could not deal with hostile forces in Afghanistan through the intermediary of Pakistan.

“Bush didn’t realize that, but Obama does,” he said.

Despite that realization and despite the commitment of more resources, however, it was far from clear that the Afghan involvement would end in success. It might be Mr. Obama’s actions were too late.

“He may have inherited a patient who was dead on the table,” Mr. Riedel said.

Yet he maintained a degree of optimism. Optimism that had been increased somewhat by the article in Rolling Stone magazine which resulted in the dismissal of the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

“Bizarrely,” he said, that had resulted in the right man, Gen. David Petraeus being put in charge.

Now, Mr. Riedel said, the Afghanistan situation was not hopeless. Just “extremely difficult.”

In sharp contrast to Mr. Riedel’s grim assessment of Afghanistan, the other speaker at Thursday night’s double-header lecture, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, was relatively upbeat on the subject of relations between the U.S. and Israel, and particularly about last week’s meeting between Mr. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Unlike their previous encounter in March, in which the President appeared to be trying to “humiliate” the Prime Minister, the two men this time had enjoyed a productive working lunch and had both described the meeting later as excellent.

Mr. Indyk noted, too, the long photo opportunity offered afterwards by the White House, and an unprecedented series of interviews between Mr. Obama and Israeli journalists.

“So,” he asked, “What is this about?”

To some extent, he said it was a matter of pandering to American Jewish interests, who have traditionally been a pillar of support for the Democratic Party, ahead of the mid-term elections.

He said he had no doubt that the White House had realized it had mismanaged the relationship and given the appearance it was distancing itself from Israel.

But there was more to it than that, he said. Recent events had forced both men to forge a working relationship. In particular he cited Israel’s widely condemned attack on a flotilla of vessels attempting to take aid supplies to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade, resulting in the deaths of nine activists.

Following that, the United States had fought to prevent condemnation of Israel by the United Nations Security Council, had labored to help Israel maintain regional relationships, and to avoid the establishment of an independent judicial panel to investigate the killings, which would have been unacceptable to Israel.

At the same time, President Obama had worked to ease the Gaza blockade.

“All of those things,” Mr. Indyk said, “were achieved in partnership.”

He noted that it was not only in Mr. Obama’s political interest to have a better relationship, but also in Mr. Netanyahu’s. For there had been a shift in Israeli political sentiment since the flotilla killings.

Israelis had been feeling “fat and happy,” having weathered the global financial crisis well, and having been subject to little recent terrorist activity.

“That sense of confidence was punctured by the flotilla crisis, in which the whole world turned against them,” Mr. Indyk said.

Israel initially went into what he called its well-practiced crouch of victimhood, but also realized the need to act on establishing a Palestinian state. And there now were Palestinian leaders with whom Israel could negotiate, if its government was willing.

Public opinion was turning against Mr. Netanyahu.

“That’s why he came forward in Washington to indicate his willingness to try to negotiate a two-state solution,” Mr. Indyk said.