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Afghans Don’t See Change With Petraeus

From an approving Reuters:

Afghans do not expect change from U.S. shake-up

By Sayed Salahuddin

June 24, 2010

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan expressed regret on Thursday at the removal of the U.S. commander credited with reducing civilian casualties in the war against the Taliban but said it did not expect his replacement to change strategy…

"We wish he hadn’t gone, but this is America’s internal issue," said General Zaher Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry.

"We expect him to follow McChrystal’s assessment, which has reduced civilian casualties, brought down arrests and house searches and involved coordination on operations," he said

We suspect that the Afghanis are right. After all, why should we expect General Petraeus to change anything in Afghanistan?

Why would anyone think (or hope) that he would “cut some deals” before going back there? That he would, for instance, change the ‘Rules Of Engagement’?

General Petraeus was already directly in charge of our war in Afghanistan – and Iraq. If he had wanted changes, he would have made them already.

June has already been the costliest month in casualties for foreign forces, with the deaths of four service members in a vehicle accident late on Wednesday bringing the toll to 79.

More than 300 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan this year, compared with 521 for all of last year, according to icasualties.org. Scores more insurgents have died, but hundreds of civilians have also been killed — most in Taliban bombings, but many too in crossfire or misdirected air strikes.

Somehow the restrictive ‘Rules Of Engagement’ don’t seem to be helping all that much. In fact, it would seem they are making matters worse.

The Taliban said Obama had sacked McChrystal in order to shift blame for policy failures.

"Obama’s strategy is a failure but he is tricky by washing his hands on McChrystal in order to maintain his own image and that of his party in American and the world," a spokesman said in a statement, adding that Afghanistan’s conflict can not be resolved by a shake-up of generals.

Taliban statement said Petraeus was not as smart as McChrystal and questioned his physical strength, noting his collapse during a congressional hearing last week.

McChrystal’s counter-insurgency strategy aims to take on the Taliban where they are strongest, in their Kandahar spiritual homeland, and boost security simultaneously with a push for improved civilian governance and development…

Again, whatever General McChrystal’s strategy was, it was also General Petraeus’ as well.

Since McChrystal took over as commander in June last year, he has formed a strong relationship with Karzai, accompanying him on several tours of the country in a bid to show support for the government.

The Afghan president expressed regret at McChrystal’s departure, a spokesman said.

"We had hoped this would not have happened, but the decision has been made and we respect it," said spokesman Waheed Omer. "He looks forward to working with his replacement."

Even Mr. Karzai is learning Washington-speak.

In the field, some U.S. troops said they expected business as usual.

"General Petraeus is of the mind if something is not broken don’t fix it," said First Sergeant Todd Sullivan in a mess hall at a camp in Gurgan, Kandahar

Unfortunately, it does seem like something may be broken over there.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 24th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Afghans Don’t See Change With Petraeus”

  1. Chuckk says:

    General Petraeus is being sent on an impossible mission because of lack of support from Washington, impossible “rules of Engagement,” too few troops, etc. His failure will give cover to Obama’s withdrawl.

  2. proreason says:

    “The Taliban said Obama had sacked McChrystal in order to shift blame for policy failures.”

    Looks to me like the Taliban understands more about what happened than 99.8% of the pundits in America.

  3. proreason says:

    Finally, a pundit has something to say about Afghanistan that isn’t the babbling of an idiot or a pavlov’s dog.

    From the inestimable Andy McCarthy at NRO:

    “‘You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?’ [Andy McCarthy]

    Why would General Stanley McChrystal give that kind of access to a lefty rock-n-roll magazine? Maybe because he’s a kindred spirit who felt the need to assure Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings that he voted for Obama …

    I got in some hot water here last year for arguing that Gen. McChrystal, for all his undeniable valor, is a progressive big-thinker who has been conducting a sociology experiment in Islamic nation-building. It’s a flawed experiment that assumes Afghan Muslims will side with us — i.e., the Westerners their clerical authorities tell them are infidel invaders and occupiers — against their fellow Afghan Muslims.

    Nothing in the ensuing months changes my mind. To the contrary, what I’ve seen lately indicates that, while our troops are imperiled under strait-jacketing rules of engagement imposed by Gen. McChrystal to avoid offending Afghans, Christian missionaries have been suspended for preaching …

    In the Examiner, Byron points to Rolling Stone’s account of a frustrated American soldier, lamenting the death of a fellow soldier killed because of the rules of engagement. “You sit and ask yourself,” says the soldier, “What are we doing here?” I don’t know, but whatever it is, it is not what Americans thought they were sending our military to Afghanistan to do.”

    Scan for Andy’s name in the Corner at NRO: http://corner.nationalreview.com/

    I guess I’m not surprised to learn General McChrystal was running a little social experiment instead of a real war. And now I understand why the boy king went along with it in the first place. “Community Organizing by black ops guys”. What total nonsense. It makes me wonder even more whether McChrystal was on the inside of the whole ‘firing’ scam. Once it became clear it wouldn’t work with the time and resources allowed by the Idiot in Chief, the general may have decided that he didn’t want to be the one to be blamed…..better for Petraeus to take the fall.

    It’s 100% that we will lose in Afghanistan with the Moron in charge. It would only be about 95% with somebody else.

    Actually, we already won once, in only 3 months, in late 2001 and 2002.

    We should have left then and we should leave now. Leave behind some fortified airstrips that can be supplied with drones, and use them as bases to kill every Taliban who lifts his head out of the dirt every few months.

    And btw, if 8 1/2 years isn’t enough time to pacify a country, 18 1/2 years won’t be enough either. The problem isn’t the military capability. It’s patently obvious we can defeat the Taliban. Every other month if necessary. The problem is the political will to do what is necessary to secure the country. It doesn’t exist, and unless the msm is overthrown, it never will exist.

  4. Laree says:

    This State Of The Art Center was built entirely with private donations for our Military Sevice Members returning home with head injuries from Iraq and AFGHANISTAN.

    Tenacious Johnny MAC (R) the only Government Official who showed up on Imus In The Morning, broadcasting from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence -ribbon cutting today. A state of the art hospital built entirely private funds, for our wounded coming home with head trauma. Imus’s producers were trying to get Senator John F Kerry (D) to attend but his staff kept telling them he was too busy….telling absences.


  5. proreason says:

    CK agrees that there is 0 change of winning in Afganistan:


    Well, he doesn’t quite say it that way. He says it this way:

    “The surge succeeded in Iraq because the locals witnessed a massive deployment of U.S. troops to provide them security, which encouraged them to give us intelligence, which helped us track down the bad guys and kill them. This, as might be expected, led to further feelings of security by the locals, more intelligence provided us, more success in driving out the bad guys, and henceforth a virtuous cycle as security and trust and local intelligence fed each other.

    But that depended on a larger understanding by the Iraqis that the American president was implacable — famously stubborn, refusing to set any exit date, and determined to see the surge through. What President Bush’s critics considered mulishness, the Iraqis saw as steadfastness.

    What the Afghans hear from the current American president is a surge with an expiration date. An Afghan facing the life-or-death choice of which side to support can be forgiven for thinking that what Obama says is what Obama intends. That may be wrong, but if so, why doesn’t Obama dispel that false impression? He doesn’t even have to repudiate the July 2011 date, he simply but explicitly has to say: July 2011 is the target date, but only if conditions on the ground permit.

    Obama has had every opportunity every single day to say that. He has not. In his Rose Garden statement firing McChrystal, he pointedly declined once again to do so. “

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