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Gen. David Petraeus’ 3 keys to victory: How to win in Afghanistan after Gen. Stanley McChrystal
Posted by The Agonist on June 24th, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Bing West | June 24

NY Daily NewsWest, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, is writing a book about the war in Afghanistan. He has written five books about irregular warfare.

First, at the strategic level, Afghanistan can be stable only when Pakistan moves against the Taliban. The major technical problem is the 1,600-mile border with Pakistan that provides the Taliban and other terrorist groups with a sanctuary. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, has cultivated a sound working relationship with the head of the Pakistani Army. …

The second task Petraeus faces is at the operational level of war. He authored the Field Manual on Counterinsurgency, or COIN, that has become the textbook for waging this conflict. Its key premise was a two-sided social contract. On one side, we provide protection, projects and reasonably decent local administrators to support the civilian population; on the other side, the people reject the cause of the insurgents and point out the subversives. …

The third task awaiting Petraeus is at the tactical level. He must be very careful about the morale of his troops, who feel the rules of engagement have become too onerous. The worst outcome would be for our soldiers or Marines to avoid the hard areas because they felt they couldn’t fight aggressively.

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