Gen Petraeus takes on Afghanistan
Crowned with success in Iraq, General David Petraeus, who takes command Friday of US military forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, inherits the next big challenge: devising a winning strategy in Afghanistan. Responsible for a volatile theatre of operations that extends from Kenya to Kazakhstan, the high profile general must also keep an eye on Iranian influence in the region, all under the orders of a new US president. Sent to Iraq in 2007 to salvage the explosive situation there, Petraeus is credited with turning around a Sunni insurgency in the west and using a 30,000 troop “surge” to secure Baghdad and its environs.
Many hope that Petraeus will bring his counter-insurgency expertise to bear in Afghanistan as he did in Iraq, where levels of violence have dropped sharply and combat deaths are now at the lowest point since 2003. Both presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, advocate sending more troops to Afghanistan, which they promise to make a priority. At the same time, calls have been made from a variety of sources in favour of a dialogue with the Taliban insurgents, following the Iraq model. Petraeus, who emphasizes the importance of political and economic efforts in defeating an insurgency, has publicly said the United States should “talk to enemies,” as has Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.“There is talk, not surprisingly, of a ‘surge’ for Afghanistan, and hope that we can soon accomplish there what has begun to take root in Iraq,” wrote Michael O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, and Andrew Shearer of the Lowy Institute. But they warn that conditions are different in Afghanistan. There are fewer troops, the country is poorer and has fewer resources. Relying on local tribal militias also is risky in a country that historically has been ruled by warlords beyond the control of the central government, some experts say.
[..Before leaving for Iraq, Petraeus recruited a number of highly educated military officers, nicknamed "Petraeus guys" or "designated thinkers," to advise him as commander, including Col. Mike Meese, head of the Social Sciences Department at West Point and Col. H.R. McMaster, famous for his leadership at the Battle of 73 Easting in the Gulf War and in the pacification of Tal Afar more recently, as well as for his doctoral dissertation on Vietnam-era civil-military relations entitled Dereliction of Duty. While most of Petraeus's closest advisers are American military officers, he also hired Lt. Col. David Kilcullen of the Australian Army, who was working for the US State Department...]
Aποτελεί μία "άλλη" σχολή σκέψης και στρατιωτικής τακτικής, εφαρμόζοντας "πολιτικές" σε τακτικό και επιχειρησιακό επίπεδο. Αν μπορεί να γίνει κάτι ώστε να "σωθεί" η Αφγανική εξτρατεία , είναι ο άνθρωπος που θα εξαντλήσει κάθε δυνατή πιθανότητα επιτυχίας .. αν και κατα το Spiegel .. http://garizo.blogspot.com/2008/10/west-is-at-loss-in-afghanistan-from.html " The West Is at a Loss in Afghanistan "