Military Leaders Want to Stay in Afghanistan…10 Years Not Enough

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Polls show that a majority of Americans would like to see the bulk of U.S. troops leave Afghanistan within the next two years, but military leaders are not as enthusiastic about ending the war. President Barack Obama has said that he wants to begin withdrawing troops in July 2011. However, General David Petraeus, the current commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, began a media blitz to continue the war beyond that date by appearing last Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

His argument: even though the U.S. has been in Afghanistan for going on 10 years, it only recently got the correct strategy in place to win the conflict. The last of the extra 30,000 troops that Obama ordered to Afghanistan last December have not even arrived yet.
Petraeus and other military commanders believe their counterinsurgency efforts will make progress against the Taliban and convince Afghans to side with the national government. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also hedged about the proposed withdrawal, stating that the withdrawals next summer “will be of fairly limited numbers.”
-David Wallechinsky
U.S. Military Seeks Slower Pace to Wrap Up Afghan Role (by Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper and David Sanger, New York Times)
Petraeus Downplays July 2011 Timeline (by James Hohmann, Politico)
The Land Where Theories of Warfare Go to Die (by Robert Dreyfuss,


Leave a comment