Democracy Arsenal

« 5 National Security Hurdles Governor Palin Must Clear | Main | Republican Foreign Policy Experts for Obama »

October 01, 2008

Petraeus Closes the Book on McCain's Strategy for Afghanistan
Posted by Patrick Barry

General Petraeus' remarks yesterday should close the book on John McCain's overly-simplistic strategy for restoring stability to Afghanistan.  After today, it's difficult to imagine anyone saying that McCain has even the slightest idea of what he is talking about when it comes to that country.

For the entire campaign, McCain has repeatedly made the point that to achieve victory in Afghanistan, the U.S. military need only look to the 'surge' strategy that proved so successful in Iraq. During the Presidential debate, McCain invoked the surge, and said that "that same strategy will be employed in Afghanistan," but even before that, he ripped Barack Obama, saying "it is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan." Yet for all this confidence and bluster, it took just a few short remarks by General Petraeus to cut the central premise of McCain's Afghanistan policy off at the knees.  Just look:

“People often ask, ‘What did you learn from Iraq that might be transferable to Afghanistan?  The first lesson, the first caution really, is that every situation like this is truly and absolutely unique, and has its own context and specifics and its own texture,”

General Petraeus is the pre-emininent figure when it comes to counter-insurgency, so vaunted in his profession that followers of his way of war have gifted him with near mythic status, calling him "King David."  Others may have contributed more to the discussion of counter-insurgency, but no figure is more associated with the term than General Petraeus. An open declaration by the man who has mastered the lessons of Iraq, that those same lessons cannot be simply mapped onto Afghanistan, is absolutely devastating to McCain.

Let's be clear.  Petraeus is not saying that there aren't things to be learned from Iraq that could be useful for Afghanistan. Quite the opposite. He readily admits that there may even be some concepts which translate well into the Afghan milieu, such as encouraging local reconciliation and empowering local actors to stand against the Taliban and al-Qaeda similar to the awakening councils in Iraq. 

Yet even there, Petraeus' statements undercut McCain; for it is precisely those concepts from Iraq, which Petraeus says would work in Afghanistan - reconciliation and empowering local groups - that John McCain has repeatedly shown he doesn't understand.  If McCain cannot grasp the teachings from Iraq that do apply to Afghanistan, how can he be expected to comprehend the more critical pieces of Afghanistan's strategic puzzle - the dependence on opium production; a larger and more entrenced tribal movement; damaging incursions emmanating from a country with which we are allied; and most troubling of all, a history of hostility to any kind of foreign intervention - that are totally unique.   

There is now near universal recognition that Afghanistan is in serious, serious trouble.  The fact that we have gone from naked admissions that Afghanistan is an "economy of force campaign," where we can only "do what we can,"  to grim assessments that the country "is in misery," testifies to how quickly the situation is deteriorating.  Either John McCain or Barack Obama is going to inherit a big problem, with a window for a solution that is closing rapidly.

A key criteria for assessing both candidates' fitness for commander-in-chief is whether they have a strategy that can arrest this devolving problem.  Barack Obama has committed himself time and again to a comprehensive plan for restoring a modicum of stability to Afghanistan, one that depends on a re-deployment from Iraq.  General Petraeus too, in his new role as head of Central Command, appears to have quickly broadened his strategic view, and has begun to pay Afghanistan its due attention. But John McCain is stuck, insisting on looking at this national security crisis through the prism of Iraq, repeating the same fixation, the same insistence, the same failures that have marked the last eight years.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Petraeus Closes the Book on McCain's Strategy for Afghanistan:


With all deference to Attackerman, the reason Petraeaus was called "King David" had more to do with the troops' caricature of him as a preening, self-righteous, arrogant -- but highly competent -- commander.

It's not meant to be a noble nickname, and it follows in the grand tradition of troopers using humor to distort the image of their military leaders.

Perhaps had Attackerman or Patrick Barry spent some time in the military, perhaps under the direct command of GEN Petraeus, they would understand this sort of foxhole irony.

But in the grand tradition of the "National Security Network," the only person therein who has ever served in uniform to protect our national security is Rand Beers.

They sure can talk about it, however, on a blog.

Learn the 21 most powerful ideas and strategies ever discovered to get the most out of yourself and others.

MCAIN I LOVE U !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OBAMA RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARRY ME MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! jared taitt!!!!!!!!

McCain is gonna lose!!!

jared u dont love McCain cuz i doooo!!!!!!! he is my wife so suckit!

both of u shut up!!!!!! every1 knows that hes maried to me!!!!

mcain i have u tatoo'd all over me i want u so bad i think of u all the time my name is mason watchman!!!!!!! "BE MINE"!!!!!!!!!!!xoxoxo

omg its so funny i just want to be come president for the money im not gona actualy help the united states i hate the united states!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am doing it for country. I love the United States of America!

DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i think im a little drunk

omg america think im actualy gona help them me and nader are just in this for the money!!!!!!!!!!!

omg no i am not dont talk to me like that girlfriend

if jonah gets on this im going crazy
mccain sucks
obama is gonna win!

mccain come to bed dear
im starting to chafe

IM Nathalie Cuber and i love OBAMA

SEO, search engine optimization. Is to make your Web site or Blog search engines more popular in other search-related content, as far as possible to make your site appear in the results of the first of several. This will bring a wow power leveling lot of traffic, instead of complaining all day: Why am I the one does not see. At present, some of my traffic from search engine Baidu and is the most stable source of traffic. I almost did not do anything, so naturally things happened. If the SEO from the point of view, I probably spent the most stupid and most simple way, but really effective. If the search engine as a beauty, then what is the point of a simple way to let her eyes you see more of it? First, you havewow powerleveling enough fresh interesting. Second, you are unique and eye-catching. Third, you are indeed very interesting new connotation enough to say that the speed of your time in the first issued a message, followed by everyone from here to you, then you are a source of information. Found on the girl has great respect for the source of information, as your grasp, it would wow gold be tantamount to grasp the numerous reproduced the contents of your site. In that case, she must be approved by the Changlaikankan your station. The fastest you that she is from here you get the fastest, so her customers can also receive up-to-date search results. So, note to Mars will not do. The result is you confuse the site in a large site on Mars, found the girl simply can not tell to your face.

Welcome to our game world, my friend asks me to buy some habbo gold . I do not know how to use the habbo coins ; my friend tells me how to use. I will thank for my friends bringing me in this world. I am not regret to buy buy habbo gold . We all love game, if you want to play it, please cheap habbo credits and join us. Please do not hesitate to have game.

When you have second life linden, you will become strong. With cheap linden, you can upgrade and admire by others. You can use linden dollars to start the journey of the world. So, do not hesitate, let us move to buy lindens

The beautiful story, we can not be forgotten, buy flyff penya . You will not regret to have flyff gold .

I want to buy some knight gold , but I do not know where to buy and how to buy knight noah .

In fact at first sight I have fallen in love with angels online gold. So no matter how much I have spent to buy angels gold, I never regret.

In fact at first sight I have fallen in love with angels online gold. So no matter how much I have spent to buy angels gold, I never regret.

In fact at first sight I have fallen in love with angels online gold. So no matter how much I have spent to buy angels gold, I never regret.

I want to buy some gw gold , but I do not know where to buy and how to buy GuildWars Gold gratis porno
porno izle teen porn

« Super! Iran's New Nuclear Negotiator Dedicated To Bringing About The...

The reports released recently iphone case by U. Manage on , Enjoy the bestE66 Dual SIM S. Internet digital camera traffic monitoring agency comScore shows that Microsoft`s share on American intellectual mobile phone market fell again. It has already fallen by 4 percentage points since last December, the newest data is only 15%. Though the ipad case share of google is not inferior to microsoft, according to comScore, data shows that google Android market share increases 5.2% in the same period, furtherly lessen the gap with microsoft. According blackberry keyboard to the trend, google soon will overpass software and become the third smartphone plate after iPhone and RIM.Adornment of TV80

Maybe, it is the reason that why microsoft concerns iphone deals mobile phone industry in 2010 so much. It has already released the new mobile operation system Windows Phone 7 Seires. In any case, microsoft will compete with iPhone and try to win back the lost market share due to the Windows Mobile 6.The Top 5 Best touch screen tft lcd google android 1.6 tablet pc

Sales of Oh, thank you for sharing! Sesli Sohbet I'm in the midst Dos seslisehir Equis grew a whopping 17% last seslinerede year according to Beer seslivatan Marketing Insights (a benchmark izle group for retail.
Also to note - their nenerede advertising budget also grew substantially: up to $8.5 million last year compared to a $5.6 million seslidunya from the year before!

Specialize in manufacture explosion proof light, including: explosion proof floodlight, led flashlight, spot lamp, led mining light, led searching light with rechargeable battery in China.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use