Skip to comments.Robert Gates: David Petraeus can make changes
Posted on 06/24/2010 1:09:07 PM PDT by jazusamo
Gen. David Petraeus will be given the flexibility to submit recommendations on the Afghanistan strategy once he arrives there, but he is on board with the overall approach, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today.
The president has established the strategy, but from my perspective, General Petraeus will have the flexibility to look at the campaign plan and the approach and and all manner of things when he gets to Afghanistan, assuming Senate confirmation, Gates said at the Pentagon Thursday.
Any new commander can make changes as he sees fit, he said. And so my expectation is, certainly, that thats what General Petraeus will do widely and make adjustments.
Among the issues Petraeus may examine carefully involve the rules of engagement, which govern when troops can and cannot fire. Some believe those rules under McChrystal were too restrictive, effectively tying one hand behind the backs of troops.
McChrystal had emphasized the need to protect the civilian population a tenet of an effective counterinsurgency strategy. Petraeus, who literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency by writing the Armys manual on it, is sensitive to this issue.
Another issue is the July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing troops. Petraeus testimony last week suggested that he had some concerns about that timeline. After fainting during testimony, Petraeus returned to the Senate Armed Services Committee the next day to reinforce the message: that the July 2011 deadline is the beginning of the end, not the end to the end.
It is important that July 2011 be seen for what it is: the date when a process beings, based on conditions, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits, Petraeus said.
Only about 20,000 troops of the surge of 30,000 Obama ordered up last year are there. By fall, the US will have about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. The presidents decision to begin pulling troops out next summer stands, he said.
In a brief interview on Capitol Hill by CNNs Dana Bash, Petraeus said he supported Obamas strategy but seemed to leave room to tweak it as needed. I support the presidents policy and I will also provide the best professional military advice as we conduct assessments, he said.
Gates also acknowledged that progress in Afghanistan, in particular in the southern sector, has been slower and harder than we anticipated, but at the same time said its not as bad as it seems to be.
I do not believe we are bogged down, he said
How long until The Won fires Gen. Petraeus also?
Awfully nice of them to allow the general to "submit recommendations". Can he do it through official channels or will he have to write a letter to the editor of Spin Magazine to get Obama to read it.
Change the ROE and win the war. Don’t and you won’t.
Well, they always say that losing is the real test of a persons character.
So will American soldiers now be permitted to DEFEND themselves? You know...just like in a REEEEL war??
Zero can give Petraeus the tools and means to win or how about Mr Commander in Chief Obama can go to Afghanistan in person and personally direct the war.
I’m wondering if Petraeus may have a lot more standing with Zer0 than McChrystal did. Petraeus proved himself in Iraq when most Dems laughed at him and some insinuated he was lying.
If it should turn out that Zer0 fires Petraeus as well then I believe it will only make Zer0 look more the fool, but maybe not.
I agree, they have to be changed.
People best understand that this old war dog layed out his plans before accepting the position. If he didn’t get what he wanted, he wouldn’t have taken the job. Obama thinks he can scare these guys and so do the Democrats. These are warriors. They will make the political decisions that they want for their careers, country and family, but scare them into making a certain decision? I don’t think so.
We have a bunch of a holes on this ship.
What is the objective? What does “win” mean in this situation? I don’t understand why conservatives are in favor of the wars (undeclared, so not really wars, due to the spineless cowards in Congress)in Iraq and Afghanistan. The initial objectives were long ago tossed aside, so what are we doing there now besides propping up the crooks, Maliki and Karzai?
We ought to bring our troops home, put them along our borders, and send all the Muslims back to where they came from.
Seriously, I would really like to know what it is we are trying to accomplish, because it looks like conflicts without resolution. I would like to think our guys are not dying just to save face for a bunch of weasel politicians.
I'd bet money on that if I was a betting man.
Who is responsible for ROE in Afghanistan?
The one that wrote the rules? The one that enforced the rules? OR a CINC that doesn't give a damm if our troops are put in danger because of the rules?
Remember that Petraeus was a President Bush appointee. Why him?? There are plenty of Generals...
If they don’t change the ROE’s, then we need to seriously consider packing up and pulling out!
Gates is an *********.
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