Petraeus might be a good commander. A very good one. He might even be considered to be the man who turned around the Iraq War. But he is not a saint, and a saint is what is needed to bring hope to the Afghanistan situation.
I refer to it as the ‘Afghanistan situation’, because the conflict there goes beyond a military war. Iraq might have been under the rule of a ruthless dictator before the United States invasion, but at the very least, it had a functioning government infrastructure that, for lack of a better term, did things. These things include essential services such as defense, sewage, health, and the like.
The Afghan government does next to nothing. Beyond Kabul, the reach of Karzai’s government is next to nil. And here lies America’s problem.
America’s mission is nation-building, not winning a war. And on this front, from what I have read (comments from generals, Senators, analysts), most are only grading the progress a mild ‘okay’.
Beneath bipartisan rounds of praise for Petraeus lay fault lines over the nearly nine-year war. A make-or-break military push across southern Afghanistan is stuck in neutral, though U.S. officials insist there are signs of progress and reason for hope.
Here’s the thing, nation-building does not take a few or even ten years. It takes decades. And the United States cannot afford to commit to this country for the next twenty to thirty years.
Let’s hope General Petraeus has something up his sleeve, something brilliant that he hasn’t disclosed to anyone, that can turn this war around, and win the hearts and minds of the Afghans.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost