For Petraeus, the same medicine for different wars
Some things, like counterinsurgency, don't change very much.
Gen. David H. Petraeus published on Sunday his counterinsurgency guidance for troops in Afghanistan. His recipe for waging war in the Hindu Kush borrows the same core principles that he advocated during the Iraq surge and the counterinsurgency doctrine that he helped author in 2007.
In both documents, troops are told to "Secure and serve the population," "Live among the people," "Walk," "Manage expectations," and "Live our Values." In both cases, soldiers and Marines are counseled that their primary focus should be on forging ties with the locals and building local governance.
The intelligence needed to destroy enemy networks will grow out of troops' closer relationship with the people, the Iraq and Afghanistan guidance states. Once soldiers and Marines have insurgents in their sights, they should pursuse "the enemy relentlessly."
So what's changed in Afghanistan?
Petraeus has become a bit pithier than he was as commandor in Baghdad.
In Iraq, troops were simply counseled to "learn and adapt." In Afghanistan, he advises: "Win the battle of wits."
In a few cases he's shifted the language to address Afghan sensitivities. In Iraq, for example, troops were told to "promote reconciliation." President Hamid Karzai has expressed unease with U.S. forces playing too prominent a role in the reconciliation process. Instead he favors the term "reintegration." So too does the new guidance, which urges troops to "promote local reintegration."
And in a reflection of the huge concerns about corruption in the Afghan government, the Afghan update of the guidance tells troops to "confront the culture of impunity" in Afghanistan. "The Taliban are not the only enemy of the people," the guidance states. "the people are also threatened by inadequate governance, corruption and the abuse of power -- recruits of the Taliban."
| August 2, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: U.S. seeks to develop mobile news service in Afghanistan
Next: Senate panel delays vote on START treaty
Posted by: rhusa | August 2, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 129346 | August 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.