Lost in the furor over the disgraced Gen. Stanley McChrystal is this simple truth: The counterinsurgency strategy championed by his successor, Gen. David Petraeus, works.
Awaiting his confirmation by the Senate early next week as the new commander in Afghanistan, Petraeus is assembling his war staff and planning how to tackle his biggest and most immediate problems: the stalled offensive in Kandahar, the lackluster performance of the Afghan army and police, and the ragged relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
As chief architect of the counterinsurgency strategy he implemented in Iraq and which McChrystal adapted to Afghanistan a year ago, Petraeus knows that aggressively combining security with appropriate political and economic action - with a good dollop of humility that puts the Afghans in charge - is a long-term but sure road to success. In short, as many soldiers in Afghanistan have shown me, the strategy works. But it takes time and patience...
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