Monday, June 28, 2010
Petraeus Needs a Winning Strategy, Resources
The debate over whether General Stanley McChrystal should have been relieved of his command over the comment revealed in a recent Rolling Stone Magazine by him or his aides will go on forever - however, there should be no debate that General David Petraeus is the right man to replace him. Patraeus' record speaks for itself and his military genius was demonstrated in northern Iraq in 2003 and then again in his strategy and success with the surge in Iraq in 2007. Petraeus' new command will come with terrain and operational challenges quite different from Iraq, however none of which he should not be able to overcome given the right resources to do the job. This is where he could run into a problem as his success strongly depends on his support by the President and this administration. Incompetent commanders, a lack of resources, untrained troops and a failed strategy, either combined or separate and apart, could result in a failure in battle. That being said, the President has now placed our best war fighter in command with what I believe is the best trained military in the world today. Now it's only a matter of strategy and resources. Last December the President said that, "after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home," when discussing the Afghan initiative. Petraeus, as politely as he could, disagreed with the Commander-in-Chief, saying that counterinsurgency is a "roller coaster experience," and does not lend itself to a strict timeline. Petraeus knows that the terrorists and Taliban will sit and wait us out and a timeline would embolden our enemies to change their overall strategies and sit tight until we're long gone. When Generals McChrystal and Petraeus put the Afghan initiative together, McChrystal asked for 40,000 additional combat troops to support his operation. The President on the advice of others on Capital Hill refused McChrystal's request and gave him far less than what he asked for. Why? Who knows better than the commanders on the ground as to what is needed for the mission? If the President has a real desire to win the Afghan offensive, he needs to allow General Petraeus to design the strategy and he must give him whatever he says he needs to carry out the mission. If the President refuses to do so, it will be his loss, but moreover a greater loss for the security of this country... one that we cannot afford. We have a proven winner in General Petraeus and we have the best troops money can buy. Now let's create a strategy that will win and give Petraeus what he needs to get it done. We must support Petraeus 100 % or we will be jeopardizing the lives of our brave men and women in harms way and that just cannot be.
Posted by BERNARD B. KERIK at 9:04 PM