Small Wars Journal

Afghanistan Tests Petraeus' Counterinsurgency Mettle

Afghanistan Tests Petraeus' Counterinsurgency Mettle - Jackie Northam, National Public Radio.

Gen. David Petraeus' nomination as top U.S. commander in Afghanistan comes at a critical time. June has been the deadliest month for the U.S.-led coalition in the nearly nine-year-old war: More than 90 foreign troops have been killed. Concerns are also increasing over what is seen as a faltering war effort, and whether the new counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan will succeed.

Petraeus' confirmation hearing Tuesday clearly showed that there are high expectations for the four-star general, not only to seamlessly assume command in Afghanistan but to quickly try to salvage the war effort there. President Obama signed off on a counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan in December, which involves deploying an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to battle insurgents while civilians help build the country's infrastructure and civil society.

So far, the results are widely viewed as less than promising. Nowhere has this been more evident than in southern district of Marjah. U.S.-led troops launched an offensive there in February, promising to quickly rid the area of Taliban and other insurgents and to set up a viable local government. But the so-called government in a box has evaporated, and Taliban militants have come back to the area...

More at NPR.