Petraeus in Afghanistan – good or bad?


general David Petraeus, photo: timeinc.net

general David Petraeus, photo: timeinc.net

Afghani war is one of the greatest threats for Obama administration, because failure there could be high stack in his political future and possible second candidacy for White House in two years. Newly published interview with U.S. Army forces commander in Afghanistan, general McChrystal, brought up many questions and doubts about American actions and future of war and Afghanistan as a state. When I read excerpts from McChrystal’s interview my astonishment with his words was huge and disappointing, because it seems that general didn’t pay attention on his work and duties but on cheap political trash.

His duty in Afghanistan was not to comment administration; his main duty was to secure Afghani people from Taliban’s and other terrorists and to help them to reach better future. As we known Obama decide to replace McChrystal with David Petraeus who had a duty to exchange a whole situation and to prepare U.S. and Afghani forces for upcoming withdraw in 2011. Biggest question is would he be good or bad choice for Afghanistan and U.S. mission there; after his mission in Iraq and success to save something what’s was sentenced on a failure Petraeus has a chance to become something good or better say excellent for Afghanistan.

General Petraeus upon his confirmation in Senate, which probably will be done without any problems according to Sen. John McCain (R), will face himself with large puzzle which contains not only military but also peace and reconciliation duties. Many of those problems were put under the carpet by previous U.S. military and civil administrative personal in Kabul; in our recent memory is large confrontation between President Karzai and ambassador Galbraight also there is lot of controversies connected to President Karzai regarding corruption accusations, mental problems and drugs.

More over President Karzai said this month that he lost his confidence in U.S. ability to defeat Taliban’s. Petraeus once already take hard mission in Iraq when he exchange a route of war and he succeed in creation of better start positions for further actions, if he continues his work as it was in Iraq Karzai’s opinion about U.S. abilities to defeat Taliban’s probably would be changed.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius rightly concludes that Petraeus will need much more creativity and thinking outside of the box about what would work on a terrain.

“Petraeus is also an operator, in the sense that he likes to use back-channel emissaries to communicate with a wide range of players. That strategic edge has been missing in our Afghanistan policy, and it will become crucial next year, as we enter a likely phase of contact with the Taliban and its allies to explore a possible reconciliation deal. Nobody in the U.S. military is better at the mix of fighting and talking in such ambiguous situations”, said Ignatius.

His quest also will be to find a right way how to include a Taliban’s in governmental institutions and to protect human rights earned after the clash of Taliban regime; two most important groups are children and women.

On a terrain in Afghanistan many women’s are afraid that growing talibanisation of government will force them to go back in previous situation were woman was nothing more than a “machine” for cooking, cleaning and to born new kids. In field of education general Petraeus will need to find a way how to protect schools, especially those one for girls, and incorporate them in new Afghani society.

U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan is scheduled to start in 2011, in a same year Canadian forces will start transformation process from combat to educational role in Afghanistan, and general Petraeus will be need to rethink tactics for Kandahar region were is stationed major part of Canadian forces.

General Petraeus will bring new personal sense of American mission in Afghanistan and it will be major figure in success of this mission.

His ability to think outside of the box probably will bring all sides to the table and to sincere conversation in next year or so; he is the best choice for this mission.

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