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In Afghan war, officer flourishes outside the box - Denis D. Gray, Associated Press via The Taiwan News.
You may wonder how Thomas Gukeisen made it to lieutenant colonel, and by age 39 at that. He breaks Army rules and operates by his own rendition of counterinsurgency warfare whose arsenal includes Afghan poetry, chaos theory and the thoughts of a 17th-century English philosopher. A towering, rough-and-ready 205-pounder (man weighing 92-kilograms), the officer from Carthage, New York, peppers his sentences with unprintables and reads Karl von Clausewitz's classic on war in the original German. The high-ups seem to like what they see. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commands U.S. forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, has visited his sector, as have Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry. Substantial resources have flowed into Gukeisen's hands, including $850,000 in small bills for such jobs as building schools and putting carpets in the mosques of Afghans who turn against the Taliban.
Col. David B. Haight, Gukeisen's superior, calls him one of the brightest officers he has met. Gukeisen wages his war across 620 restive, rugged square miles (1,000 kilometers) of Logar, a strategically important province bordering Kabul where he has implemented what he calls an "extreme makeover." Rather than rigidly applying the current mantra "Clear, Hold, Build" he has held back from trying to clear large, Taliban-influenced swaths of territory, focusing instead on areas he believes are ripe for change, and then injecting aid where it counts most. Combat, he says, is driven by reliable intelligence and limited to eradicating Taliban fighters...
More at The Taiwan News.