3 Keys to Victory in Afghanistan

Gen. David Petraeus' 3 Keys to Victory - Bing West, New York Daily News opinion.

Gen. David Petraeus, who turned around a losing war in Iraq, is taking over as the commander in Afghanistan at an equally perilous moment in a more complicated war. He will confront three immediate issues - the handling of which could well define whether NATO forces succeed or fail...

First, at the strategic level, Afghanistan can be stable only when Pakistan moves against the Taliban...

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. ...so far the Pashtun tribes that gave rise to the Taliban movement have not bought into that contract. The Pashtuns have accepted projects, but rarely reciprocate by pointing out the Taliban hiding in plain sight among them or by urging their young men to join the government forces. This is the nub of the problem inside Afghanistan itself...

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...

More at The New York Daily News.

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