General Petraeus Told He 'Must Succeed' In Afghanistan

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
London Daily Telegraph
September 20, 2008
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
General David Petraeus must "knit together" Afghanistan's confused command structure if the coalition is to avoid a humiliating defeat, a senior American defence official has said.
The man behind the "surge" strategy in Iraq will take charge of US Central Command tasked with bringing fresh direction to an Afghan campaign that was seen as "marking time".
But he will face a tough battle to bring unity to the 40 nations and 53,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan that come under several different chiefs.
In a downbeat assessment of the current state of the campaign in Afghanistan, the officer said there was "100 per cent chance of success if we do it the right way but if we do it the wrong way there is a zero per cent chance".
He admitted that it was unlikely other nations such as Germany would get more involved in the fighting in southern Afghanistan.
He also warned that like the British Army, the American military was suffering from the effects of continual operations over seven years. "At some point we have to refit, rest our force and retrain them before we redeploy them."
Gen Petraeus will look to unite commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq for "unity of purpose" so there could be "unity of effort," the military official told defence correspondents in London.
Adding to his concerns a district governor in southern Afghanistan allied to President Hamid Karzai has been killed in a "misunderstanding" between coalition and Afghan forces.
Roozi Khan, the governor of Chora district in Uruzgan province, was shot dead at his home but no details were released.
Following comments made by Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, that Britain may increase its force next year the US officer said "force strength from elsewhere would be welcome".
American troops are expected to surge to Afghanistan in increasing numbers from 30,000 to 44,000 next year. "You will get more combat operations for a period of time," the officer said.
The US official said American military power was "finite" and that there was a "bottom line" on resources.
Although he was not "despairing" it was up to the community of nations to "embrace the challenge" of Afghanistan and "honest leadership" was needed.
To resolve the problems of Afghanistan it would take a "long time" if not a couple of decades.
Iran was singled out as a "malign influence" for its "seepage" of weapons across the border.
The officer said America would not tolerate the arrival of more armour piercing bombs, known as explosive formed projectiles, from Iran.
He said rogue elements of the Iranian regime, not necessarily connected to the government, were using "front companies" to fund the military operations in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
The officer suggested that US forces would "selectively go after nodes of that network" but ruled out any "combat operations in Iran".
It is expected that Gen David McKiernan, the current US commander, will unite the commands of the International Security Assistance Force and the mainly US special forces of Operation Enduring Freedom under the banner of Commander Forces Afghanistan.
Yeah but is DC going to let him. That's the $64000.00 question. Or is Gates gonna micromanage him?