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More attacks as Petraeus hands over command in Afghanistan
Posted by The Agonist on July 18th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Paul Tait | Jun 18

Reuters – General David Petraeus, Washington’s new intelligence chief, handed over command of U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan Monday, a day after a tentative start was made to a gradual process of transferring security to Afghan forces.
Petraeus, credited with reversing a spiral toward civil war in Iraq, took over in Afghanistan a year ago after his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal, was sacked by President Barack Obama for comments made in a magazine story.

He is leaving the military to take over as director of the Central Intelligence Agency as part of a wider shake-up of senior U.S. security officials and takes over from Leon Panetta, the new U.S. defense secretary.

Petraeus, who hands over to U.S. Marine Corps General John Allen, oversaw a “surge” of 30,000 extra U.S. forces which helped stop the momentum of a growing insurgency, especially in the Taliban heartland in the south. He led a similar escalation of forces that helped turn around the Iraq conflict in 2007-08.

However, despite gains in violent southern provinces during Petraeus’ year in charge, the Taliban-led insurgency is still far from quelled.

Violence across Afghanistan in 2010 hit its worst levels since the Taliban were ousted by U.S.-led Afghan forces in 2001, with civilian and military casualties hitting record levels, and this year has followed a similar trend.

Stop the momentum? He must have forgot to inform the Taliban.

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